There is no excuse not to wear a lifejacket on board!
It is very idyllic and tempting to enjoy the sun and sea on board a small or larger boat. Prevailing weather conditions in the Eastern Mediterranean, especially during the summer such as the warm rays of the sun and the slight sea breeze, often make us feel relaxed and care-free, forgetting that the danger is constantly there.
The fact that we are relaxed and carefree on board in ideal weather conditions, does not mean that these conditions cannot change in a flash and cause an accident or drowning.
That is why we say, ALWAYS WEAR A LIFE JACKET and enjoy every second on board. Unfortunately, according to statistics, most drownings occur unexpectedly and especially in calm weather conditions when no one is wearing a life jacket.
What is a life jacket?
A garment or accessory on board boats for the safety of passengers. The life jacket is designed to provide the required buoyancy when wearing it in the sea in order to help us float until we reach the help point.
A life jacket or floating aid is a “jacket” enriched with special foam material that provides buoyancy when doing water sports or requiring breathing support for a short period of time.
There is a huge variety of life jackets available depending on how we enjoy the sea. Life jackets are designed to make us feel safe and experience more intensely and with complete safety all the joys and emotions offered by water sports.
Photo by RNLI
How do life jackets save lives?
By providing buoyancy:
- if we unexpectedly end-up in the water.
- if one jumps into the sea to save someone else in need.
- if we end up in the sea due to an accident, if we are injured or cold and not able to swim due to fatigue.
- if we are feeling weak.
What should we know about life jackets?
The best life jacket is the one we wear.
The life jacket is designed to save our life, but this will happen only when we are wearing it.
Life jackets are designed to keep our head out of the water and help us stay in position so we can continue to breathe. Some life jackets are not designed for weak or non-swimmers and therefore we should carefully read the label of the life jacket we choose to wear during a trip. On a boat, the life jackets for crew and passengers must be approved by the Coast Guard and have the appropriate approvals, per type of boat or water sport.
Adult life jackets are NOT suitable for children.
Children require their own specific life jackets according to their size.
Worn or damaged life jackets will not operate when needed and must be replaced with new ones.
The boat must have as many life jackets as required by its license from the Port Authority as well as some for children.
Most adults need life jackets that provide buoyancy from 50 to 100 Newton (*), so they can keep the head of the person wearing it out of the water.
Life jackets must be maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Automatic life jackets must be inspected twice a year with regards to the state of the air filling vial when in contact with water.
We must ask for a demonstration, if we are not familiar with how to wear a life jacket or a floating aid. If not worn properly, it is most likely that it will lead to our drowning.
Life jackets must:
Be the right size to fit properly.
Be in excellent condition.
Have the required approvals from the Coast Guard.
Be suitable for the activity we are conducting at sea (sailing, water skiing, boating, kayaking, sup boards etc).
Fit properly after being adjusted accordingly.
Have been successfully tested, if they are floating aids especially with automatic air filling cylinders.
Where can I find the life jacket?
At specific points on-board the vessel, such as rails. They are accompanied by a special rope and flagpole, so that we can throw them into the sea for immediate rescue of a person who fell into the sea with or without a life jacket.
In special cases on board, easily accessible to all.
If we are accompanying a child under the age of 13, we make sure to find the special junior life jacket and adjust it properly to the child’s body, explaining at the same time that he/she should not take it off during the entire trip.
We wear a life jacket BEFORE we start any water sport.
We request a life jacket from the captain of the boat IMMEDIATELY upon boarding, and we adjust it to our body.
How do we choose a life jacket?
We choose a life jacket according to our body type and specifically our chest dimensions. The purpose is for the life jacket to fit properly to our body, so that it keeps us afloat when we fall into the sea, until help arrives.
If we do water sports or use our own boat for recreation, we should have chosen our life jacket, adjusted it to our size and worn it or have it next to us for immediate use. As a boat owner, we know that the life jackets should be stored in an easily accessible place, properly stored in airtight plastic bags, checked that they are in excellent condition in terms of the buoyancy material. Also, we must check that floating aids are all full of air so that they can be used immediately, if required.
Life jacket types
Life jackets with built-in floating materials.
Life jackets (floating aids) with automatic inflatable air capsules
Hybrid life jackets incorporating floating materials and protection jacket
Special purpose life jackets
"Person Overboard" Rescue Device Floating 10 Kg with 40m lifeline
Examples of life jackets use
Sport: Triangle Sailing - Optimist boat type. (Photo by: Nikos Zagkas)
Sport: Offshore Sailing (Photo: 47th Aegean Rally / HORC / Nikos Alevromytis)
Sport: Rowing (SUP)
Sport: Jet Ski (Photo by: Vassilis Sarimbalidis)
Sport: Kite. The life jacket is under the blue t-shirt with her number. In the photo, Italian Sofia Tomassoni, 2018 Gold Youth Olympic
Sport: Wake board - Water Skiing
Sport: Offshore Sailing Rescue Device "Person Overboard” on the rails, ready for use.
|TYPE I||Life jacket vest|
|TYPE II||Life jacket SOLAS**|
|TYPE III||Floating Aids|
|TYPE IV||Inflatable life jackets|
|TYPE V||Inflatable SOLAS**|
|275||Lifejacket||12402-2||Offshore, extreme conditions, special protective clothing, heavy equipment.|
|150||Lifejacket||12402-3||Offshore, foul weather clothing.|
|100||Lifejacket||12402-4||Sheltered waters, light clothing.|
|50||Buoyancy aid||12402-5||Swimmers only, sheltered waters, help at hand, limited protection against drowning, not a life-jacket.|
|12402-6||Special purpose device, all performance levels.|
All the above information is advisory and not a life jacket selection tool. The right choice and purchase of a life jacket, depending on the use you want to make, must be done in collaboration with specialized staff of a shipping equipment store. Moreover, when buying a life jacket, you should ask to see the required international certifications to be sure that what you are buying is what will save your life and the lives of your friends or passengers of your boat.
* Buoyancy is measured in Newtons, where 1 Newton is the force exerted by the earth’s gravity on a body of mass about 102 grams (weighing about an apple).
** SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea International Convention)
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Download the poster in any format you want, print it or share it on Social Media. Help us spread the message WEAR IT!