Make a safe selection - the different types of PFDs

30 September 2011

pdf family on boat When out on the water it is essential you are wearing a personal floatation device (PFD), also known as a life jacket, that suits your water activity:

PFD 1 Lifejacket
Has sufficient flotation to support body and head. The flotation collar keeps your head above water. Do not use as a cushion. Not permitted for water skiing, aqua-planing and like activity.

PFD 2 Buoyancy Vest
Has less flotation than a PFD 1 with flotation panels front and back only. Is less restrictive to wear than PFD 1, but will not keep your head above water if you are unconscious. A PFD 2 is suitable for use for sports such as water skiing, sail boarding, kite boarding and sailing dinghies.

PFD 3 Buoyancy Vest
Similar to PFD2, but doesn’t meet the Australian Standards Association colour standards. These are designed for high-speed water sports such as water skiing, aqua-planing, operating PWC and sail boarding.

SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) Lifejacket
A very bulky lifejacket, designed to keep the body afloat for long periods. Has a light and whistle attached to attract attention. Carried by commercial vessels and recommended for use on larger vessels operating far offshore.

Coastal lifejacket
This multi-fit lifejacket has more flotation than a PFD 1. It has a whistle attached for attracting attention. It is recommended for use on larger vessels operating far offshore.

Click here to find out more about PFDs