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Why an Inflatable Lifejacket May Not Be Your Best Choice

When it comes to being safe at sea, few people are more experienced or more knowledgeable than Mario Vittone, a retired U.S. Coast Guard helicopter rescue swimmer and accident investigator.

Vittone is a leading expert on immersion hypothermia, drowning prevention and sea survival. 

In this video, Vittone explains why he likes closed-cell foam jackets with big pockets so you can store safety gear—like VHFs and PLBs—that could get you found and out of the water quickly. 

He demonstrates how he sets up his lifejackets, what he puts in the pockets, and why he thinks it will increase your chances of survival. He prefers a closed-cell foam lifejacket because inflatables need regular maintenance and often don’t have pockets.

You can read Vittone’s article about lifejacket preparation here and read all of his Lifelines: Safety and Rescue at Sea articles here.


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