Coast Guard Safety Alert:
This safety alert reminds all inflatable life jacket users of the importance of performing periodic maintenance on their equipment. Instances of fatal accidents where inflatable life jackets failed to properly inflate have been documented. When a life jacket fails to inflate properly, the results can be life threatening. Unknown bladder leaks may exist, fabric degradation or an improperly installed CO2 cylinder is all it takes to render an inflatable life jacket ineffective by preventing its inflation or ability to stay inflated.
The methods for dealing with Man Overboard emergencies on a short-handed boat require a few modifications from the standard recoveries taught for fully-crewed race boats. The purpose of this note is to highlight those differences in technique and thinking, and to provide references for further skill development by you.