Lifejackets serve the same purpose as PFDs, but do a better job. They are much more buoyant than PFDs and are specifically designed to turn an unconscious person face-up in the water. Lifejackets come in only three colours: orange, red, and yellow. They are bulkier and less comfortable than PFDs.
There are three types of Canadian-approved lifejackets;
- Small Vessel Lifejackets – are approved for small vessels. They have less floatability than the standard type of lifejacket. They will turn you on your back to keep your face out of the water, even while unconscious, but may do so more slowly. The small vessel lifejacket comes in a keyhole or vest style.
- Standard Lifejackets – have a self-righting capability that turns an unconscious person who is face down in the water to a face-up position, allowing them to breath. The Standard lifejacket is a keyhole style that you put your neck through and secure.
- SOLAS Lifejacket – Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) lifejackets meet very high performance standards and are approved for all vessels. The SOLAS lifejacket is a keyhole style and will turn you on your back in seconds to keep your face out of the water while unconscious.