We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Life Jacket?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
WikiMotors is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WikiMotors, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A life jacket is a safety device designed to keep someone's nose and mouth above water should the person fall overboard or be involved in a plane crash on water. Life jackets are required safety equipment on board boats and aircraft, and people are expected to wear them or have ready access to them in the event of an emergency. There are a number of lifejacket designs available for various applications and they are available through catalogs, as well as boating supply stores.

Life jackets strap securely to the body with adjustable straps to hold them snugly in place, even when people fall from heights. Chambers filled with air, foam core, cork, and other light substances force the person to the surface of the water and hold the person up, keeping the head above water. Life jackets protect people who are unconscious, injured, or fatigued, preventing them from slipping underwater and drowning while they wait for rescue.

Typically, life jackets are brightly colored to make them easier for rescuers to spot. Some have beacons designed to light up when activated, allowing for nighttime rescue, and the beacons can also be fitted with transponders to send a signal to another location. Additional fittings such as small pouches to hold energy bars or water may be available on some designs.

On small watercraft, it is generally recommended that people wear life jackets at all times. People can fall overboard unexpectedly or be washed over by waves, and wearing a life jacket is critical for safety. On large craft and cruise ships where life jackets are not required at all times, people should still make sure they know where their life jackets are and how to use them. On aircraft, under seat storage is used for life jackets so passengers can grab them quickly if a water landing is going to occur. A life jacket on a plane is usually inflatable. People leave the life jacket flat while in the aircraft, and inflate it after the exit the aircraft. This is intended to make it easier to evacuate.

It is important to periodically inspect life jackets to confirm the straps are working and check to see that the beacon and transponder are operational. Straps tend to weather and fray as a result of being exposed to water and sunlight and should be checked for signs of hard wear. If the straps appear to be damaged, they or the life jacket should be replaced for safety. People should also make a habit of adjusting their life jackets as soon as they put them on to position them firmly on the body.

WikiMotors is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WikiMotors researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By Kat919 — On Jun 29, 2012

Make sure that you have the right kind of life vest! I didn't realize until recently that they actually come in several kinds. Two are common; one of those is for "serious" use, and the other is for use only near shore -- like swimming or boating in fairly shallow water.

The advantage of the near shore kind, besides that they are more comfortable and less expensive, is that they come in more sizes. The deep water kind only come in child and adult sizes. But the near shore ones come in many sizes, including one for infants under thirty pounds.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
WikiMotors, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WikiMotors, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.