Personal Watercraft Safety Course
Some Things to Remember To make sure that your life jacket remains in good/ serviceable condition: Do not alter the life jacket. An altered life jacket no longer meets legal requirements and may not save your life. Do not place heavy objects on the life jacket during storage or use the life jacket for a kneeling pad, boat fender, or seat cushion. Life jackets lose buoyancy when they are crushed. Let the life jacket air-dry thoroughly before putting it away. Always store your life jacket in a well-ventilated place, out of direct sunlight and away from fuel or oil. Never dry your life jacket by a direct heat source, such as a dryer, heater, or radiator. Before wearing, check the life jacket for signs of wear and age. Look for rips or tears, mildew, insecure or missing straps, frayed webbing, broken zippers or buckles, and hardened stuffing. A life jacket with any of these problems must be replaced. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, a life jacket is no longer in serviceable condition if the straps and/or zippers or fasteners do not work. For personal safety, a PWC operator should also have: A whistle attached to your life jacket, one that works even when wet. Eye protection, to protect from the sun, spray, and bugs. It is recommended that you have a leash on your sunglasses to ensure you don’t lose them if you enter the water. Boat shoes or booties, to improve traction and protect your feet from underwater hazards. Gloves for improved grip and comfort. A wetsuit to protect you from sun, wind, abrasion, and cold water shock. Manufacturers recommend wearing wetsuits to prevent injury. A helmet to protect your head from injury. The type of helmet varies with the type of water activity. A properly fitted helmet is mandatory for racers during competition. Sunscreen and lip protection. Water and snacks. Communication devices such as a VHF radio or a cell phone.
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