• Ayrshire Daily News

Safer Summer - Lifejackets save life’s!


Recreational boaters should wear an appropriate personal floatation device such as a lifejacket or buoyancy aid at all times whilst on deck.

Lifejackets are appropriate for those for those on a sailing yacht or motor cruiser or when going ashore in a yacht tender. Buoyancy aids are suitable where there is a chance you will get wet: kayakers, canoeists, rowers, dinghy sailors, PWC riders and the like should wear buoyancy aids as recommended by their sport’s national governing body.

In addition to selecting between a lifejacket and a buoyancy aid, you need to consider what level of buoyancy you need.

There are four main buoyancy levels: 50, 100, 150 and 275. In general terms, level 50 is a buoyancy aid designed for those who are likely to get wet, but it will not turn you over on your back or keep your head out of water. A buoyancy aid is only an aid to flotation, so you will need to be able to help yourself by swimming.

A level 150 is a general purpose lifejacket used for offshore motor boating which should under normal circumstances turn the wearer face up within five seconds.

For small craft such as dinghies and kayaks, which are more likely to capsize, it is recommended that you wear a buoyance aid as an inflated lifejacket may trap the wearer under the upturned hull. However, for larger craft, where capsize is unlikely an automatically inflating lifejacket is appropriate – but take it off when going below deck.

All buoyancy aids and lifejackets should be regularly maintained – check that gas cylinders are tightly screwed in. If you’re buying a lifejacket, an automatically inflating lifejacket with a sprayhood, light and whistle is recommended. You should also consider fitting or buying a lifejacket that is fitted with crotch straps; these stop the lifejacket riding up over your head.

Further, detailed information on the correct selection of the right flotation device is available from our partners at the RNLI, your local chandleries and sport’s national governing bodies such as the RYA.

Lifejackets save lives but they’re useless unless worn – and worn correctly.

It’s also vital that everyone Knows Who To Call if there’s an emergency at the coast - it's always dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.


Search and Rescue - it's what we do.

In a coastal, beach or cliff emergency it’s always dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

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  • Ayrshire Daily News
  • Ayrshire Daily News