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Drifting in open seas and international waters, as encountered on long sea voyages and by forces, requires prolonged survival in water. Suitable life jackets are often attached to a vest with pockets and attachment points for distress signaling and survival aids, for example, a handheld two-way radio (), emergency beacon (406 MHz frequency), signal mirror, sea marker dye, smoke or light signal flares, strobe light, first-aid supplies, concentrated nutritional items, water purification supplies, shark repellent, knife, and pistol.

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USCGA vs. Competitive Vests
The difference between these two types of vests is very important. Competition vests aren’t seen as true life vests because they have less flotation, which allows for more freedom of movement. However, U.S. Coast Guard-approved (USCGA) vests are required in many states. Check your local boating laws for public waterways. In many states, the U.S. Coast Guard requires boats to have a Type I, II, III or V life jacket for each passenger on board. It’s pretty simple: USCGA vests provide increased flotation, while competition vests allow for better mobility.

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Every person on board a personal watercraft must wear a USCG-approved life jacket. For children, look for youth-sized life vests that are appropriate for a child's age range, including infant life jackets for little ones weighing up to 30 pounds. Bright vests ensure young swimmers are visible in any water condition.

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Anglers can opt for fishing life jackets designed for casting or spending long days near the water. Look for these jackets in nature-inspired hues with extra pockets and compartments for stashing tackle.

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Most adults need an extra 7 to 12 pounds of buoyancy to keep their head above water. For a list of minimum buoyancy for each type of life jacket, please download the brochure.Requires life jacket to be worn by children less than 10 years of age when aboard watercraft in Minnesota when the craft is under way (not tied up at a dock or permanent mooring).This life jacket is designed for extended survival in rough, open water. It usually will turn an unconscious person face up and has over 22 pounds of buoyancy. This is the best life jacket to keep you afloat in remote regions where rescue may be slow in coming.These life jackets are generally considered the most comfortable, with styles for different boating activities and sports. They are for use in calm water where there is good chance of fast rescue since they will generally not turn an unconscious person face-up. Flotation aids come in many sizes and styles.