Lifejackets - Our Most Frequently Asked Questions

Can I take an inflatable lifejacket on a commercial aircraft when I go on holiday?

Yes, According to table 2.3A IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations, each passenger is allowed to bring two gas inflation lifejackets plus two spare cylinders as checked in baggage or as carry on baggage. However it is best to check with the airline first as they have the right to refuse. Get something in writing from them if possible.

Do I really need a crotch strap?

Ideally yes, a crotch strap stops your life jacket riding-up and ensures that it stays in the optimum position, keeping you head clear of the water and stopping your ears getting scrunched.

Should I buy a larger lifejacket or buoyancy aid for my child to grow into?

No, lifejackets must fit correctly otherwise they might not work as designed and could even cause injury.

Will my automatic lifejacket be set off by rain or spray?

This old problem is no longer very common. Most manufacturers now design their lifejackets in such a way that the automatic firing head is folded inside the jacket and can only be activated when fully immersed in water.

How often should I get my gas inflation lifejacket serviced?

Most manufacturers recommend that you have your gas inflation lifejacket serviced once every year.

Where can I get my lifejacket serviced?

Most liferaft service stations also service lifejackets, see the following link for your nearest service station: UK Liferaft Service Stations

How do I tell if the automatic firing mechanism on my lifejacket has expired?

There are THREE main makes of automatic firing mechanism in use.

United Moulders Cartridge: A black screw-in cartridge on the side of which the expiry date is printed. ie. EXP0307, which indicates replace by March 2007.

Halkey Roberts Automatic Bobbin: These polo shaped bobbins are inserted into the bottom of the firing mechanism and a clear plastic cap is then screwed over the top.
NOTE: Halkey Roberts Automatic Bobbins have a lifespan of four years and each one is printed with the date of manufacture. NOT the date of expiry.
There are two different formats for the dates. Example - 04050, which denotes year 2004 on the 50th day. Alternatively - FEB19, 04, HR, which denotes a manufacture date of the 19th Feb 2004. You should always replace the bobbin if it was made over 4-years ago.

HAMMAR Hydrostatic: These round yellow firing heads have an expiry date clearly printed on the front.

 

The Beacon Logo

For the latest marine safety news each month, regulation changes and invaluable practical safety advice, simply submit your email address.