Originally Posted by Dockhead
.... One bit of advice
: never, ever, ever buy a lifejacket without a crotch strap, and never wear one without fastening the crotch strap. Several deaths in the Fastnet 79 disaster occurred because of no crotch straps. You simply fall through the life jacket if nothing is holding you at the crotch.
In my opinion, lifejackets are defective and unfit for purpose without crotch straps.
Yes!!! I think the foregoing is vastly overlooked and jackets not including crotch straps should not be certified by the CG. Unfortunately many jackets on the market do not include this simple but necessary part. We have auto-inflatable jackets for our entire family
that did not include crotch straps. I had them made up at a local canvas
Something else, it is worth having everyone try out their jackets in the water
. They do not inflate instantly. I wanted the girls to know what to expect so I had them jump into our pool with them on. When they inflated the girls popped up like corks and floated chest up with their heads well above water
. Absent the crotch strap, however, if they fell asleep (it does happen) or were rendered semi- or unconcious, they could easily have slipped out of the jackets. (In fact, my daughter did so as she couldn't swim to the edge of the pool with the jacket on so she just slipped it over her head
Something that people seem to forget is that the bobbins in the trigger housing do need to be replaced at regular intervals. I do that annualy and drop the old bobbins in a pail of water. They never seem to fail to "fiz" up, so they would have worked, but friends of ours that do the same thing report that they have had bobbins that simply sit on the botton of the bucket, doing nothing. Spare bobbins are inexpensive and we store ours in vacume sealed pouches to ensure they stay dry and ready for action.