What is a type 3 life jacket used for? There are several types of flotation devices that boat owners should have on their vessel while they are kayaking, fishing or engaged in any other type of recreational water activity. Some of these are legally required and if you're even going on the water for an hour, you must have at least one type 3 life jacket with you. This article will explain what a type iii life jacket is and how it can help you to survive during emergencies.


What does type 3 life jacket mean?

The term "type 3 life jacket" describes the way that this particular type of Personal Flotation Device (PFD) behaves when it is in water. It offers a specific level of floatation and thus, it is only suitable for certain types of water and particular activities, which will be covered in this article. These jackets are made in several styles but you should always choose a color that makes it easy for other boaters to spot you, especially if you're in a small vessel.



Easy To Check

If your boat is checked to ensure that you're complying with water safety regulations, it's easy to know if you have a type 3 life jacket on board. Type 1, type 2 and type 3 life jackets all look different from each other. Type 1 provide the most buoyancy and are designed for rough waters, where it may take some time to get to the person who needs to be rescued. Type 2 are not always designed to turn unconscious users up in the water, since they are meant for near-shore use.


Type 3 life jackets are flotation aids. They are meant for calm waters, where the person would be rescued quickly. These life jackets are not recommended for use in rough waters because if a person is unconscious, they will not turn them face up. Wake boarders, surfers and skiers can use these flotation devices.



A type 3 life jacket is more comfortable than a type 1 or type 2 jacket. However, it does not provide the flotation that you'll benefit from with a type 1. Your safety takes priority over comfort, so ensure that you select the right type of life jacket for the water that you will be in.


What is type 3 life jacket suited to?

A type 3 life jacket is suited to calm, inland water. For example, this type of flotation aid can be used in sailing regattas and dinghy races. If a training activity or competition is supervised and takes place in calm waters, where there are official rescuers in place, who are constantly watching the water, this flotation aid can be used.


If you are going fishing or canoeing with others in a calm body of water, you can use a type 3 life jacket. If you're operating any type of watercraft in calm conditions, you should always have at least one life jacket per person, just to be safe. Check the gear before every trip, to ensure that everything is working properly.


US Coast Guard Approved

The type iii life jacket that you have on your boat must be approved by the US Coast Guard. The rules and regulations for life jackets and life vests are generally the same throughout the United States but there may be small variations from one state to another. Ensure that you check the specific laws for your state or the state that you will be kayaking in, before you head out on the water.


When you're shopping for a new type 3 life jacket, look for features that will ensure it meets the approval of the US Coast Guard. Bright colors like yellow and orange make you visible to rescuers. Consider the flotation offered by the PFD, especially since this is also what the Coast Guard will be looking at.


Correct Size

The type 3 life jacket that you have must be the correct size for the person who is on your vessel. if you are towing someone, the life jacket must fit them properly. A life jacket that is the incorrect size will not serve its purpose. Sizing for adults is determined by the size of your chest. Your life jacket should always fit snugly, without being uncomfortable.


Minimum Buoyancy

Buoyancy is the force required in pounds, which is required to keep you afloat. The minimum buoyancy of a type 3 life jacket is 22.5 pounds for adult size.


Inflation Mechanism

You can choose a type iii life jacket that is inherently buoyant or one that is inflatable. Hybrid designs are also available. Inflatable type 3 personal flotation devices are built to be inflated upon entering the water. You'll pull a cord, which activates a carbon dioxide gar cartridge and that inflates the vest.



if you have a type iii life jacket on board, ensure that you practice using it. All the people who are wearing this type of life jacket will also need to practice the proper use of the life jacket. They’ll need to automatically know what to do, so that if they're in the water, they don't become flustered.


This flotation aid will not help to right your body. Since it won't turn you face up, you have to consciously make the effort to tilt your head back while you are in the water.



The United States Coast Guard requires you to take every step necessary to ensure that your type iii life vest is in serviceable condition. Handle t with care, reduce its exposure to ultraviolet light and store it properly. Always check it for holes and tears, while ensuring that the seams, zippers and other hardware are in good condition.


Look for signs of mildew, shrinkage or water logging, which would indicate that your life jacket may not provide the protection that you need. You should remove a life jacket from your vessel immediately and replace it wit a new one if it has torn straps or is discolored. Always rinse your life jacket with fresh water after it has been in salt water and allow it to drip dry.


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