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Do You Know Your Floatation Devices?

By Omaha Personal Injury Attorney on July 9, 2015

Life JacketsA Personal Floatation Device (PFD), commonly known as a “lifejacket,” is designed to save an individual’s life in the event of a water accident. A PFD not only helps you float in water, but is also designed to keep an unconscious person’s head above water if a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or other serious wounds prevents the person from controlling their own body movements.

Experienced Omaha catastrophic injury attorneys urge every Nebraska boater to pay careful attention to Nebraska’s rules for PFDs and to wear one whenever they head out on the water. A PFD could save your life.

Here are the five types of U.S. Coast Guard-approved PFDs and their most common uses:

• Type I (Offshore Life Jacket): Offers 20 pounds of buoyancy and is designed to keep an unconscious person vertical or slightly backwards in the water.

• Type II (Nearshore Buoyant Vest): Offers 15.5 pounds of buoyancy and is designed to keep an unconscious person vertical or slightly backwards in the water. These are commonly used in recreational boating, where help is readily available.

• Type III (Floatation Aid): Offers 15.5 pounds of buoyancy, but is less efficient at turning a person’s head out of the water than a Type II. Designed for water activities like skiing.

• Type IV (Throwable Device): Includes seat cushions, rings, and other devices that are not designed to be worn. Typically offers 16.5 pounds of buoyancy.

• Type V (Special Use): includes PFDs designed for specific purposes, like boardsailing vests, deck suits, work vests, and hybrig PFDs. Read the label to learn more about a Type V PFD’s specific uses and limits.

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