Lifejackets are referred to as PFD’s – Personal Floation Devices, and there are three major types. It’s important to get an Australian Approved PFD – and you’ve got to carry the right type, one for each person on the boat. They also need to be of the appropriate size, and in good condition – which is hopefully common sense.
A type 1 PFD provides the highest level of buoyancy, and is also designed to keep your head above water if you’re knocked unconcious.
A type 1 PFD is used on open waters, but personally I just carry type one’s on my boat as they can be legally used on enclosed or open waters, meaning I don’t need to carry (and buy) two types of lifejacket.
A type 2 PFD is a buoyancy verst, and is not designed to keep your head out of water. For this reason, you can’t use them in offshore situations (or in alpine waters).
A type 3 PFD is a buoyancy vest, with the same level of buoyancy as a type 2 jacket. Again, it is not designed to keep your head out of water, but is typically used for watersports.
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