On the Water

Keeping Afloat

How to find a PFD that's really comfortable
By Mark R. Johnson
Published: February 1, 2005
22C maxum afloat
Photo courtesy Maxum
Saving a life has never been easier. Innovations in personal flotation devices (PFDs) have made them more comfortable than ever. And PFDs do save lives. Of the 703 people who died in boating accidents in 2003, 481 drowned. Of those, 416 lives probably could have been saved if boaters had been wearing a life jacket.
    And why not wear a PFD? Today there are easy-to-wear units for everyone: slim and trim units that only inflate when you either hit the water or activate them manually; side-vented models with wide arm holes that make fishing more comfortable; anatomically correct models that fit a woman’s figure; and buff-looking, form-fitting neoprene vests for easy movement during water sports.
    Another boating season is under way. Remember the PFDs and save a life – your own or your passengers’ - by following these guidelines.
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