Boat safety is quite essential, this is the reason the personal flotation device, or PFD, is quite compulsory on all boats. There’re different types of PFDs and one of them is a Type IV that will be tossed to a person in the water that will keep them afloat. In this post, we will check out the primary benefits of a Type IV PFD?

But before that, what’s Type IV PFD? Let us know!

What’s the Type IV PFD?

Type IV PFD or Personal Flotation Device is quite different from other kinds of PFDs used by boaters & water sports fans. First, it is important to know, Type IV PFD isn’t made for an individual to wear, unlike life jackets. But, it’s one kind of throwable device designed to be thrown out at a person floating in the water. A person floating in the water can grab this and hold on to a Type IV PFD just to stay when waiting for the rescue.

But, there are some restrictions when using the Type IV PFD.  This isn’t normally recommended for use when they are boating in the waters where there’s plenty of water disturbance such as waves or water currents and winds. It is because these elements, particularly the waves, can cause a Type IV PFD to get tossed over in the water & float away from a person.

Now, let us go ahead and check out the benefits of a Type IV PFD

Top 5 Advantages of Type IV PFD

What is the Main Advantage of a Type IV PFD

There is a question regarding the need for the Type IV PFD while everybody in the boat has the life jacket and life vest. But, it should be noted that the Type IV PFD will be quite different than other kinds of personal flotation devices. Here are some advantages to look at.

Universal Size

The first benefit of Type IV personal flotation device is it can be used by all sizes and ages. The reason is it isn’t a wearable device hence there are not any specific sizes. But, for other kinds of PFDs that are designed to wear, you must wear the right size so that life jacket will give you buoyancy that you want to stay afloat. When having Type IV PFDs, a person does not have to worry about sizing since it is a throwable device. There’re a few styles, like the cushion style, which have straps. However, these straps offer additional support in case you are in the water, besides give you extra to get a hold of.

As Type IV, a personal flotation device is made to grab and hold, so can be used by anyone, unlike the life jacket that has to fit every individual rightly. It means a PFD can easily be used by people of all sizes and shapes that are a considerable benefit when saving a person from drowning.

Though do not put your faith in one personal flotation device. A Type IV is a piece of gear and isn’t the substitute for the rightly fitting life jacket or vest. Everybody has to wear a life jacket, or in an event, somebody ends up falling in the water, the Type IV device will be used to help in a rescue.

Everybody on board must have a life jacket, which fits correctly. This means adults, kids, infants, and even pets. Suppose your pet is on board, then you will have to consider the life vest for them.  The life vest is the first line of protection to keep somebody afloat while they fall in the water unpredictably.  Type IV equipment is one kind of backup measure that helps a person to get rescued.

Location Marker

The next benefit of the Type IV PFD device is it can be used as the location marker. The people on a boat will immediately deploy a Type IV PFD with the ‘Man Overboard’ situation just by throwing this in an exact location or last known place where a person fell and was seen last. Then this marker can be used for helping the boat operator while circling & returning to an area of the incident and initiate the rescue. There’s an issue of Type IV PFDs getting washed away by current though that will happen in open waters. It is true if there’re strong currents and waves or wind present.

Portable & Lightweight

Some boaters complain of wearing other kinds of PFDs as it tends to be uncomfortable and bulky to wear. It is due to extra weight, a wearer will have to exert a little more effort for keeping himself to face up in the water. The Type IV PFDs are lightweight and will not take you down in the water. It is made to give you better mobility as you are free to hold it when you want.

Easy to Throw

Probably one important advantage of the Type IV PFD gear is it can easily be thrown. It means this must be used in various situations and a life-saving device no matter whether you are wearing the PFD or not. It is the versatile buoyancy aid, which is used in the swimming pools, harbors, beaches, lakes and rivers, and on boats and ocean. They can easily be thrown to anybody in the water, but other PFDs have to be worn & fitted before you enter the water.

This throwable nature of the devices means that you can use it to mark the location where someone entered the water and giving you the indication of the direction of the current to carry out a better search & rescue.

Decides Direction of the Water Current    

When out in the water, the water currents and strong turbulence can cause your PFD to get tossed over and can float away in the water – and making it a bit ineffective as the location marker and floatation device in these situations. However, it serves a different purpose: this helps a boat operator to determine the direction of the strong current. Suppose the victim was wearing the life jacket, then it becomes simple to track down the direction where the victim got carried away. It is an important step in a rescue operation as it efficiently narrows down the search area for the rescuers.

To Sum Up

Whereas most people do not think of ring style PFDs as quite essential, they have got their place. It’s another tool & chest for security. You cannot always predict the emergency, but can prep the boat with Type IV PFD equipment for additional safety.

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