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The "Good" Kind of Inflation

Barbara Watson demonstrates good use of a fire blanket

The Good Inflation

“Safety Moments, presented at CCA Stations and Posts”

By Brian Guck, Boston Station, 16 April 2024

The weather is finally starting to feel like spring in New England after a very active winter with lots of rain and damaging coastal storms.

Before we head out on the water once again this is a good time to check on all things inflatable.

Life jacket ruined by rusty cylinder
Corrosion of the cylinder has abraded the inflatable portion so that it leaks. An expensive oversight

  • Are your inflatable life jackets ready for the season?  Have you tested the integrity of their bladders?  Do you have fresh bobbins and CO2 cylinders?  Are they all showing green through their test windows? Do you have crotch straps installed? Check your manufacturer’s website for instructional videos. 
  • Have you considered a personal AIS in your PFD?
  • Are your tethers in good working order or do they need to be replaced because their strain indicators have been stressed?  Do you have a Y tether with 3’ & 6’ legs?
  • Do you need to replace your jack lines due to UV degradation? 
  • Have you been able to move your jack lines inboard more on the center line instead of running them along the side decks? This and a 3’ tether will reduce your chances of going overboard and being dragged.
  • Is your MOM still within its service window or does it need servicing?
  • Is your life raft within its service window?
  • Is your rubber pig dinghy holding air and ready for another season of adventure?

And for those things that don’t inflate…

  • Have you checked your LifeSling line for degradation, is it flaked and secured?
  • Are your batteries up to date?  EPIRB, PLB, AIS?
  • Are your fire extinguishers in the “Green”?
  • Does your VHF have an MMSI number and a GPS signal?
  • Does your dinghy have a grab bag with HH VHF, flares, whistle, mirror?

Have a wonderful (and safe) time on the water this summer!