Floatation Devices, PDF's, Life Jackets
Personal floatation devices or life jackets are one of the most important items that are needed before taking a craft out on the water; it can mean the difference between life and death no matter how good a person is able to swim.
An item that is this important should be understood, the different types of materials they are manufactured from, how a personal floatation device should fit in order to give the proper protection, as well as what level of protection in the water each different material is rated. It is important to choose the life jacket that is made for the type of water it will be used in to have the proper protection.
The first life jacket was constructed in 1854 by an inspector of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in the UK. The jacket or vest he constructed to protect the crews on the lifeboats was made for protection against the weather as well as its protection in the water was made of cork. Prior to this Norwegian sailors were known to have blocks of wood or cork that would be used as a personal floatation device.
Today of course the materials life jackets are made from have changed but the object of their use has not, they are made for different levels of water types, in different weights and different sizes.
One type is made from a heavy vinyl and the construction of type has chambers built in it to be filled with air, the air chambers are located in the back and chest and can be inflated in one of several ways. One way is by mouth or an air pump and there are also some that are made that are made to inflate with air when submersed in the water, these are made for salt water and fresh water.
While that is one type of personal floatation device there is also one that is very popular with people that kayak, this is a very buoyant jacket and is made to be short on the body so as not to hamper a person when paddling, it also has been constructed with places where a harness can be attached should the need arise.
One important part of choosing the proper life jacket is to make certain it fits correctly, one that is to small may not be zipped or closed properly and can come off in the water, one that is to large may ride up and become a hazard when in the water by hampering swimming or giving a choking feeling that is hard to correct while in the water.