Nothing saddens me more than to read about a drowning death that could have been avoided if only a lifejacket were worn. As anglers we think we are invincible and accidents only happen to others. We fish with reckless abandon and seldom worry about the dangers at arm’s length while on the water.
Generally speaking, most of us have been trained to wear our lifejackets when the big engine is running, but that is normally in tournaments, and for some unknown reason, when fun fishing, we just don’t do it. I think everyone who fishes would admit they are not as diligent during these times but should be.
The old excuses of “too hot” or “uncomfortable” don’t hold water any longer as safety gear has gotten lighter, more comfortable and can be worn the entire day. Companies like Mustang Survival have seen to that.
The Mustang Survival Hydrostatic Inflator Technology lifejacket is a new automatic, pressure activated, suspender-style lifejacket that can easily be worn while fishing. Because they are extremely light, designed well and have a comfortable neoprene neck support, they become unnoticeable. Once that occurs, wearing them becomes the rule versus the exception. The peace of mind of having it on is not only for the angler wearing it but for the family who is at home too.
The new HIT Inflatable PFD, MD3183, is automatic which means no cord has to be pulled or pellet dissolved for it to work. It is water pressure activated and has a built-in inspection window to determine if it is ready for activation. The inflator is maintenance free for 5 years.
The HIT is U. S. Coast Guard approved both for recreational and commercial applications. When inflated, a bright-yellow inflation cell is clearly visible, and it, combined with SOLAS inflation reflective tape, makes finding the person overboard easier, even at a distance. A safety whistle and strobe light are included and enhances rescue visibility.
I am impressed too with the way these are built. The double stitched vest is durable, holds up to being wet and drying, and the zippered closure keeps them looking new even after prolonged use. The jacket will automatically activate in 4 inches of water and will not accidentally activate in rain, drizzle or humidity. The HIT also has a manual activation pull cord. The latch on the front of the PFD is easy to hook-up and sturdy too. It adjusts well to fit most body and fits chest sizes from 30 to 52 inches.
We recommend inspection every time it’s put on, and re-arming is a snap with kit MA7214.