2013 New York Safe Boating Textbook - (Page 14)
To protect yourself and your passengers, there is certain safety equipment that the law requires you to carry on your boat. The equipment we will discuss will satisfy both state and federal safety requirements for boats. But more importantly, having the equipment we cover in this section, and using it properly, may be vital to survival in an emergency. See the checklist on page 83 to find out what you need to carry on your boat.
Types of Personal Flotation Devices
Off-Shore Life Jacket (Type I PFD)
Effective for all waters, this type of PFD provides the most buoyancy. They are designed to turn unconscious wearers in the water to a face-up position. There are two sizes: adult, with 22 lbs of buoyancy; and the children’s size with 11 lbs of buoyancy. If you are going boating in areas where rescue may be delayed, this is the PFD to have.
US Coast Guard Approval
Throughout this chapter we will reference safety equipment that is “US Coast Guard Approved”. The purpose of US Coast Guard approval is to confirm that the safety equipment has been tested and been found to meet the regulatory requirements relating to performance, construction and materials used at the time of manufacture. Each US Coast Guard Approved device will be marked by a label, or a stamp. This mark must be visible and readable in order for the piece to be considered US Coast Guard Approved.
Near-Shore Buoyant Vest (Type II PFD)
The near-shore buoyant vest is intended for calm, inland water, where there is a good chance of a quick rescue. This type of PFD may turn some wearers over to a face-up position, but the turning action is not as pronounced nor as effective as the Type I device. The adult vest provides 15.5 lbs. of buoyancy, and the child’s vest 7 lbs.
Personal Floation Device (PFD)
Buoyancy is the force that counteracts the gravitational forces on a person in water. Most of us don’t have enough natural buoyancy to keep afloat, so if we fall in the water, we’ll sink. In order to stay afloat, we need a personal floatation device, or PFD. PFDs provide additional buoyancy and used correctly, can keep a person afloat for hours. The person using a properly sized PFD will be able to keep their head above water to breathe without the exertion of treading water. This can be the difference between life and death in an emergency. Life jackets, life vests, and throwable floatation devices are all versions of PFDs. Every pleasure boat floating or sailing in New York State waters must carry at least one wearable US Coast Guard Approved PFD, for each person on board. This applies to all boats, including canoes, kayaks and rowboats. In addition, boats 16 feet and greater in length also must carry a Type IV throwable PFD.
Flotation Aid (Type III PFD)
Good for calm, inland water, where there is a good chance for immediate rescue. These are designed for special recreational activities such as water skiing. The Type III provides the same buoyancy as the Type II, but without any turning ability, so wearers must place themselves in the face up position. They come in many colors and styles, and in general, are the most comfortable type of PFDs available. Float coats, fishing vests, and vests designed with special features suitable for various sports activities are examples of this type of PFD.
Throwable Devices (Type IV PFD)
These PFDs are designed to be thrown to a person in the water, and grasped and held until rescued. These devices are not intended to be worn.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of 2013 New York Safe Boating Textbook
2013 New York Safe Boating Textbook
Boats and Motors
Registration of Boats
Fueling and Ventilation
Safe Loading and Powering
Preparation for Getting Underway
The Marine Environment
Rules of the Road
Boating Related Activities
Accidents and Emergencies
Frequently Asked Questions
Chapter Review Questions Answers
2013 New York Safe Boating Textbook