Manual or automatic?

We’re often asked why we use manual inflate rather than auto-inflate lifejackets. There are pros and cons but, taking account of guidance from the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association, we favour manual, although some are automatic. Check which kind you put it on.

‘Bumbag’, ‘pouch’ or ‘belt pack’ lifejacket are more complicated to deploy as they have to be pulled over the head at the time of deployment. SCRA advises users to be clear on how this works, and wear the pouch at the front, not the back. Our club does not recommend this type of lifejacket.

Wear your life jacket correctly

Adjust the straps so that your life jacket fits well. Test by placing your fist under the buckle. If there is a gap between your fist and your body, your life jacket is too loose. You may have to adjust your life jacket fit as you take off layers of clothing. See the RNLI video on fitting your life jacket.

Crotch Straps help keep the life jacket in the correct place to have a casualty floating safely with their head above the water.

Educate yourself on why a well fitted lifejacket with crotch straps is better by watching this video.