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Inflatable Life Jackets

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Sash
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Re: Inflatable Life Jackets

#11

Post by Sash » Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:33 pm

There are actually THREE basic versions:
1) Manual: pull the toggle, vest inflates.
2) Automatic/Water-actuated: a moisture-sensitive cartridge actuated the inflation, whether the wearer is conscious or not. I suspect that these are the ones that give automatics a bad name, since they can go off with a drop of after, or even if you leave them in the car under your wet waders. But the advantage is that they can re re-armed easily with the right kits.
3) Automatic/pressure-actuated (Sometimes called Hammar mechanism). These are impervious to water itself, but inflate when (if?) you fall in a certain depth: around 1 metre (i.e you head just bobs under in the first splash). Then the pressure sets the inflation sequence off. Problem: you have to send them back to an approved service centre for re-arming.

The pressure-actuated vests are what are normally used on fast boats with the potential for big waves or a lot of spray: think RIBs. Cartridge-actuated vests are fine for most sailing boats and (British Isles-style freshwater fishing boats).
Manuals are by far the cheapest: go figure.

If I fished salmon/sewin rivers that required dodgy/deep wading, I would only consider wearing a pressure-actuated vest. But I would have a spare in the car....

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Paul Arden
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Re: Inflatable Life Jackets

#12

Post by Paul Arden » Wed Oct 07, 2020 5:58 am

Thanks Sash, I’ve never heard of pressure activated life jackets. That’s a great idea. I assume that they can be deflated for sending back via post? :D

Cheers, Paul
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Sash
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Re: Inflatable Life Jackets

#13

Post by Sash » Wed Oct 07, 2020 6:18 am

Absolutely: apart from the small (match-box-sized) Hammar actuation device, they are identical to other life jackets, including the normal tube for inflation/deflation

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t.z.
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Re: Inflatable Life Jackets

#14

Post by t.z. » Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:57 pm

I have the automatic ones at Skålestrømmen. Very unobtrusive. In Norway it is mandatory to wear a life jacket in a boat under 8m. https://www.skalestrommen.no/ff/inflatable-life-vests/

In the last two seasons we did not have any unintended inflations. Actually only one angler fell in and so triggered the inflation. I would always go for the ones with the automation. Falling in and being knocked unconscious are incidents often going hand in hand. One does not need much water to drown when unconscious.

The inflation is activated by a needle pushed into a gas container. The whole small unit needs to be replaced once triggered / released.
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Paul Arden
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Re: Inflatable Life Jackets

#15

Post by Paul Arden » Thu Oct 08, 2020 3:43 am

Was the chap who fell in knocked unconscious as well?
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t.z.
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Re: Inflatable Life Jackets

#16

Post by t.z. » Thu Oct 08, 2020 9:11 pm

Paul Arden wrote:
Thu Oct 08, 2020 3:43 am
Was the chap who fell in knocked unconscious as well?
Luckily no, he slipped while getting into the boat. He could though easily hav knocked his head in the process. He was alone when it happened, rather well hidden even though very close to the hut.

Anyway, I also chose these vests as you hardly recognise or experience them a hindrance.
“All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others.” - Douglas Adams

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Paul Arden
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Re: Inflatable Life Jackets

#17

Post by Paul Arden » Thu Oct 08, 2020 11:58 pm

It’s funny I’ve fallen in hundreds of times but never knocked myself out. In fact I’ve never been knocked out in my life, despite playing rugby for about 15 years and living an active outdoors lifestyle for (almost) 50. :pirate:

Where I think automatic inflatable jackets would be really useful is for compete non-swimmers, of which we have many in this part of the world. I just envisage them panicking and not pulling the activation chord.

Cheers Paul
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Sash
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Re: Inflatable Life Jackets

#18

Post by Sash » Fri Oct 09, 2020 8:34 am

Probably not a problem for you in Malaysia, but automatics also really come into their own in very cold conditions, where the immediate shock of falling in, even when conscious, can make you lose panic and the ability to think clearly, remember where the toggle is, and stop over-focusing on the rod etc!

It’s also important to remember that, rather than just focusing on automatic inflation in the event that someone is (even temporarily) knocked unconscious, it is also vital that the jacket is put on over all other clothing (again, perhaps not an overriding issue in your current situation!), the belt done up snuggly, and leg loops ditto. A loosely-fitting automatic life jacket without leg loops is potentially very unsafe since it can pull over your head, and not support the casualty with face out of the water.

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Paul Arden
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Re: Inflatable Life Jackets

#19

Post by Paul Arden » Fri Oct 09, 2020 9:56 am

Yep the water here is 32C, very occasionally 29 and quite often 34. So that’s certainly not an issue. However not being able to swim at all can be an issue here. The other option is buoyancy aids. Obviously there are levels of water competence.

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Re: Inflatable Life Jackets

#20

Post by nicholasfmoore » Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:18 pm

Hi Paul,

The England pro life jackets are really good, i have 2. They have three methods of inflations, auto, pull chord, and by blowing. Fully CE approved too!

All the best

Nick
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