The Importance of Life Jackets

On Monday we discussed how a man’s life jacket saved him when his canoe capsized near Auke Bay, Alaska, leaving him stranded in the water with a crab pot line tangled around his leg. Personal flotation devices are one of the most important pieces of equipment on any watercraft. PFDs help to save lives when people are:

  • Thrown from a vessel during a collision
  • On a vessel when it sinks or capsizes
  • Injured by rocks or submerged objects
  • Rendered unconscious by carbon monoxide fumes
  • Thrown into frigid waters
  • Knocked off-balance while fishing
  • Unable to swim because of waterlogged clothing

There are several different types of PFDs. Recreational boats are required to have one wearable life jacket for each person on the vessel. In the commercial fishing industry, a vessel must carry at least one immersion suit or Type I, II, III or V wearable PFD for each person on board, depending on vessel length and location, water temperature, and type of operation.

All PFDs must be:

  • Approved by the U.S. Coast Guard
  • In good condition
  • Appropriate type and size for the intended user
  • Properly stowed so that it’s readily accessible

When a maritime employer fails to provide workers with proper safety equipment or fails to train crewmembers in how to use PFDs correctly, that employer may be legally liable for any injuries and deaths that result from such negligence.

If you have been injured in a maritime accident, or if your loved one died at sea, visit our website to learn about your rights under maritime law, and fill out the contact form for a free consultation with an experienced Boston maritime attorney.

Latti & Anderson LLP – Boston maritime trial lawyers