I’m going to bring up the topic of life preservers (aka, personal flotation devices (PFD)) once again as the issue is one that is important and timely.
As I commented in my prior post about Dauphin Island Regatta a disturbing number of boaters were on the water not wearing a PFD until the storm approached or had overtaken their boats. Forum discussions about the incident are filled the majority of posters outlining that they have on board but do not wear their PFD unless the wind/waves come up.
To me this in unacceptable.
Going overboard is an accident … meaning an unplanned. Who knows when one will have an accident? For this reason you must wear a PFD at all times.
There are many many many good quality designs of inflatable and foam PFDs that are comfortable to wear. There is no excuse not to wear one.
Choosing not to wear a PFD until ‘the weather is bad’ is like only using a seat belt in heavy traffic or when the roads are wet.
Another comment I’ve read this past week is ‘I only wear a PFD when I’m alone’. Again, going overboard is an accident. If you hit your head while going into the water, or go into the water because something hit you in the head, you may likely be unable to keep your head above water (ie, your are unconscious or dazed); and, bluntly, will have likely drowned before the person(s) on the boat can get back to you and attempt a rescue.
Folks … WEAR THAT PFD ALL THE TIME.
Another reason I again brought up the PFD topic is I have purchased a crotch strap. A crotch strap keeps a PFD from going up to and over your head when you are in the water. My belly is of greater girth than my upper chest so, when thinking about things, a crotch strap seem pretty much mandatory.
The final reason is I have been thinking about safety items a lot as I plan for crossing the Strait of Juan de Fuca in early June ’15. This is a significant body of water and one must conduct the crossing with due diligence. (More on this adventure will be covered in a future post.)
So, in closing, I again say wear that PFD ALL THE TIME … sun or clouds, day or night, wind or none.