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The Difference Between A Lifejacket & A Personal Flotation Device?

Posted by Luke Green

Though commonly seen and spoken about as though they’re the same thing, there are actually some very important differences between lifejackets and personal flotation devices (PFDs) that you should know about. Don’t get us wrong, they are very similar and generally fulfil the same function as one another (keeping someone afloat), but certain criteria must be met before a lifejacket can call itself a lifejacket. There are a number of functional differences between the two, which we will come to shortly, but in essence, PFDs are designed to assist a conscious person (which is why they are also commonly referred to as ‘Buoyancy Aids’), while lifejackets can effectively support those who are unconscious.