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Type V PFD

Traditional PFDs use inherently buoyant materials, such as foam, to stay afloat. Inflatable PFDs rely on inflatable chambers that provide buoyancy when inflated. The specific type of PFD is determined by it characteristics.

  • To understand the details for using your inflatable PFD, read the label and the owner's manual.
  • Inflatable PFDs have the following features.
    • They use a CO2-filled cylinder to inflate the device that is triggered manually or automatically.
      • Automatic mechanisms use a water-soluble capsule or water-pressure sensor attached to the inflation unit. The mechanism pierces the CO2 cylinder and releases the gas when it is submerged. These PFDs have a back-up manual ripcord.
      • Manual mechanisms release the CO2 gas from the cylinder as a result of pulling the ripcord.
    • They contain a back-up oral-inflation tube that also deflates the PFD.
    • Inflatable PFDs are less bulky than inherently buoyant PFDs.
    • These PFDs are highly visible when inflated.
  • You should consider the following when deciding whether to use an inflatable PFD.
    • Inflatable PFDs require frequent inspection and maintenance.
    • Some inflatable PFDs require additional steps to put them on after inflating.
    • Inflatable PFDs should not be used by anyone restricted per the device's label. Read the label for age and use restrictions.