The Use of Lifejackets at B.S.C.
Lifejacket/vests Safety Check and Use

Lifejackets/vests are the responsibility of boat owners/members and are to be used whilst taking part in waterborne activities.

It is recommended that lifejackets / vests are fully automatic; this means that the lifejacket buoyancy bellow will be deployed if personnel enter the water.
Lifejackets / vests consist of an inflating bellows with a manual inflating tube, a gas cylinder, a firing device with manual override, all enclosed in a protective cover, and an adjustable harness.


Periodically the lifejacket / vest has to be checked to ensure there are no leaks or cuts in the inflating bellows, that the gas cylinder is in date, that the gas cylinder is properly engaged, that the firing device has not already been activated and that the harness is in good order e.g. free from cuts. Defective jackets should not be used until they have been serviced.
The ratings on the lifejacket / vest indicate the buoyancy available. 50N will only support a child up to 40kg therefore, for an adult, we suggest that a minimum of 150N be used.

The lifejacket / vest is the PPE (personal protective equipment) that helps you stay afloat if you accidentally fall or enter the water. It is important that it is worn and adjusted correctly as this may save your life in the event of an incident.

Firstly the lifejacket / vest must not be worn under your top layer of clothing. This is to allow the full inflation of the bellows if you enter the water. The lifejacket has to be worn on your outer layer.

The lifejacket / vest should be worn like a waistcoat and fastened at the front, usually with a buckle or clip connection on an adjustable belt.

The chest belt should be adjusted such that it is tight across your chest. There should be just enough space to get your hand through between the belt and your chest. Loose belts can cause you to slip out of the jacket upon entering the water.

Crutch straps, if fitted, prevent the lifejacket riding up if you enter the water. These are attached to the waist belt passing through your legs. These straps should be adjusted.