Have you checked your lifejackets?

I’m a little embarrassed to post this as I was the one that organised a talk and demonstration on Lifejacket checks by the RNLI.

I have a fairly new Crewsaver Crewfit 180 Lifejacket that is held together with a zip that is designed to burst open if deployed. I couldn’t work out how to open the zip to check inside. There is a clear window on the front where I could see a green indicator on the mechanism, so assumed everything was ok.

I recently noticed that there was in fact two indicators, one partially obscured from view and was red. I still couldn’t work out how to open up the zip to check, so intended looking up online how to unpack the Lifejacket to get into the mechanism.

Moving forward a couple of weeks, I still hadn’t looked up how to get into the Lifejacket. I was talking to another member that had a similar, but different make of Lifejacket with the same mechanism, showing two green indicators. His was easy to see where the zip runner was so I had another look at mine and found the zip tucked up inside the bottom of the Lifejacket.

Once unzipped I found the gas canister screwed in and in as new condition, but the self inflating trigger canister almost falling off. Hence one green and one red indicator.

When screwed back on, both indicators went green. It repacked easily and I tucked the end of the zip away again.

If I had fallen in, the auto inflate would have failed, although it would still have worked by pulling the chord.

It really is worth checking the condition of your lifejackets.

A short video repacking a Crewsaver Crewfit 180 Pro Here


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1 Response

  1. Mick Drury says:

    Very interesting post esp the life jacket article. Thanks Dave and others.