Well, I have made three attempts to dispute Mr. Mario's comments on this video, but after spending most of my morning on this and getting bumped off by advertisements on three occasions, I will make this short.
Mario is a personal friend of mine and I have served with him, but I do not agree with his views on inflatable
life vests being useless in an offshore
Mario is incorrect about inflatables being designed for on deck
use and not for the water
He says that the pocket holding survival gear
on the inflated vest is not accessible. This is incorrect. All you have to do is put your hand between the bladders and get your gear
. It may be tougher than an outside pocket but it's there. What you have on you is what you will have with you.
The choking act was a little over board huh? Yeah they're tighter on persons with big necks but all you do if this happens is release a small amount of CO2. The vest is designed to fill at max capacity. "The first thing you do is choke" Not true
"You hang from an inflatable
vest". Yes, and you hang from a foam vest as well. In fact, if he had done this while in the water
you would see the foam vest's zipper ride up to his neck.
"Test your inflatable in the pool". Yes, wearing any floatation in water is cumbersome but the true test is offshore
, not in a pool. BTW, I do recommend that you try your new vest in the pool to get an idea of how it works. Different inflatable vest companies have different designs and some may work
better for you than others.
Mario throws the inflatable to the floor. As if to say, do the same with yours. My biggest beef as a life support technician is the way some people handle life support equipment
. Would you use that inflatable now?
Mario says that an inflatable vest has to be inspected monthly and functional tested every two months. This is not true. I recommend a functional and leak test when you first purchase
it. In the pool is okay and not a bad idea, and then a visual inspection
every time you put it on (as you would do any life support equipment). Visual, functional and leak test once a year there-after. Do before your boating
Mario says that foam vests are designed for further offshore, whereas inflatables are designed for coastal calm waters. This cannot be further from the truth.
The buoyancy of a foam vest is 14-15 lbs. An inflatable vest is rated at between 22 lbs. (kayak vests), up to 35-40 lbs. buoyancy.
Because of the turbulence (often described as washing
machine effect) encountered in a moderate to severe seas, the foam vest will repeatedly cause your head
to submerse - causing you to drown. A foam vest does not have the buoyancy to keep you on the surface. I recommend no less than 35 lbs. buoyancy on an offshore life vest.