PFD does not ensure life 100%

-- Last Updated: Apr-06-11 11:05 AM EST --

Noticed many "new paddler posts" lately - be careful in 2011

People kayaking or canoeing can still drown even though they are wearing a life jacket

1. Lifejacket not right size/type for conditions, old, worn out, broken, torn or worn improperly.

2. Vessel capsized and wearer trapped inside

3. Entrapment due to rocks or debris or severe water hydraulics

4. Wearer drowned from wave splash (mouth immersions) before rescue

5. Wearer sustained other injury which prevented keeping face out of water

6. Wearer became unconscious and was not wearing a self‐righting life jacket model.

7. Failing of self‐righting life jackets.

Nothing in life is 100%

A PFD if properly fitted will at least provide a highter chance for survival. The statistics are there if you look for them. Most drownings that I know of were caused by people going out without proper gear or dress. Early spring is the most deceptive time since the waters are still dangerously cold. Use you’re head and you will be safer on the water.


More of a discussion topic, although
perhaps there is some advice in it somewhere.

CAll them PFDs
That’s why when I taught lifesaving and water safety classes I always called them PFDs not life jackets. They don’t necessarily save your life but they do provide floatation. I still to this day call them PFDs not life jackets.

Well, yeah. Every new boater ought to become informed about the most typical water hazards…

You forgot a big one
Can’t swim back to land even if the PFD is working (floating).

PFD is a passive aid; all it does is float the body. It takes action (swimming or getting back in the boat) to survive.

Learn to re-enter, roll, swim, etc. instead of relying solely on a passive device.

How to get info to newbies

– Last Updated: Apr-06-11 9:43 PM EST –

Seasoned paddlers can add tons of stuff to the list
- BUT many newcomers to the sport just don't know this stuff

Big box boat salesmen won't cover this info
It's merely another sale just like a box of worms

People want a boat for $100 and a vest for $10
Actual knowledge, homework, instruction...nah !
Somehow people think paddling is an inherent skill
-hardwired into our DNA - "everyone knows how to paddle"

Presence of the ACA
I can’t say I’ve ever seen an ACA brochure in many

places that sell kayaks to the public…sad :frowning:

We lost one of our own in a rapid a
few years ago, wearing a PFD.He got sucked into a hole and tried to swim out more than once.When rescuers got to him, he was dead.

Dr Swartzwalt, we still miss you.

I think everyone does already know that
PFD’s are sold with disclaimers fastened right to them. Nobody needs to explain anything.

Are you sure?
Many people here go out of there way to explain all sorts of things and lately the topic to go out of your way on is PFD usage.

The OP seems to be saying that since PFDs cannot magically transport you back to your living room upon contact with water that they must not be worthwhile. For those of you moping and declaiming the impending mandatory PFD laws out there keep this in mind; if you, as an adult, refuse to make intelligent choices and the impact of those poor choices impact the safety/welfare of others then you will lose the privilege of making those choices.

Neither do seat belts or ANY other…
Safety device. No matter what you do, it will ALWAYS be 50/50!!!

Paddle easy,


Heavy, heavy fines Enforced

– Last Updated: Apr-07-11 8:24 PM EST –

State civil infraction - pay a civil fine $ 100 - 500

States will up-the-ante with budget crunch economics

No complaints by me - my PFD gets worn every time

Another Major Killer - Cold Water

– Last Updated: Apr-09-11 4:54 PM EST –

Please don't forget this one - cold water incapacitates and kills very quickly indeed, with or without a PFD. New paddlers shouldn't place too much stock in staying afloat - they need to think about either wearing good thermal protection, or else have a plan to get out of the water very, very quickly indeed.

Is it true
that if you wear a PFD around the clock, you will never die?

But it is true that your clock won’t sink.

Practice, practice, practice…in full
gear. Cold water, moving water, solo, partner…all types and conditions. A PFD on a person in a panic or on a person who has never tried to swim in one is a going to be in for a rough ride. Take a little time from every trip and practice, practice, practice.

B.S. !
jack L

Absolutely great advice
Swimming a mile, with a few waves, and a pfd

is quite exhausting. It adds a good amount of drag.

One of my favorate drills is to flip in
full gear and use the paddle to propel me back to shore, it works great but you have to practice it because its a funky motion to go backwards, hold the paddle, the safty line and be held up by the PFD, fun, try it