Wearing a Lifejacket or PFD Could Save Your Life

The most important piece of personal safety equipment is the Lifejacket or Personal Floatation Device (PFD). Regardless of size of boat or engine, there must be one properly fitted and approved floatation device on board for all passengers.

Personal Floatation Devices could save your life:

  • When your vessel capsizes in rough water.
  • When your boat is sinking in unexpectedly heavy water conditions.
  • When you or a passenger is thrown from the boat as a result of a collision.
  • When your boat collides with rocks or submerged objects.
  • When someone is tossed into freezing water.
  • When someone is thrown off balance while fishing.
  • When unable to swim because of heavy or waterlogged clothing.
  • When you wear one!

When choosing a Personal Floatation Device, consider the following:

  • A PFD or Lifejacket that is approved for the type of activities that you plan to do.
  • A PFD or Lifejacket with a label that indicates it has been approved for use in Canada.
  • That the PFD or lifejacket is appropriate for your size and weight. Check the label when purchasing a PFD or Lifejacket to ensure its suitable for your size and weight. Keep in mind PFDs and Lifejackets are designed specifically for adults, young adults and children.
  • Check that it fits snugly but allows for freedom of movement. Test your lifejacket in the water.

There are three types of flotation devices approved for use in Canada:

  • Lifejackets
  • Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs)
  • Inflatable PFDs

What's the difference between Lifejackets and PFDs?

Lifejackets: Life jackets are designed to turn an unconscious person face up in the water and are considered the safest floatation device.

Personal Floatation Devices: Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs) are more comfortable to wear are designed to keep a person afloat but are NOT designed to turn an unconscious person face up in the water.

Inflatable PFDs: Inflatable PFDs are becoming more popular because they allow for unrestricted movement and are more comfortable in hot weather.

When considering Inflatable PFDs, keep in mind that:

  • Inflatable PFDs are only approved for use by persons 16 years or older that weigh more than 36 kilograms
  • Inflatable PFDs must be worn at all times while on deck or in the cockpit of an open vessel
  • Inflatable PDFs must be readily available to persons below deck on vessels equipped with cabins
  • Inflatable PFDs are approved for certain uses only. For example, inflatable PFDs are not approved for use on Personal Water Crafts, for towed watersports or for use on sailboards.

Lifejackets and personal floatation devices

Transport Canada approved personal floatation device