RNLI @ The Open Weekend Life Jacket Clinic Report

 Glasgow Spring Open Weekend 2023 Life Jacket Clinic


A huge thank you to the team from the RNLI who came along to our Open Weekend recently to talk to our customers about their life jackets. The fishing season has now opened it is crucial to make sure our life jackets are serviced and in-date so we can all be assured we get home to our families safely from fun fishing trips!

RNLI doing a life vest safety check at the Open Weekend

Each year around 700 people drown in the UK and Ireland. Thousands more are admitted to Accident and Emergency with injuries, some life changing, sustained when they survive drowning. Tragedies like this really highlight the importance of having your life jacket serviced. Wearing a well-fitted, well-maintained, and suitable life jacket or buoyancy aid could save your life.

Over two days of our the even almost 30 Jackets were checked and almost 100 anglers checked in with the roadshow. Of the jackets checked a staggering 63% of life jackets tested failed the test. 17 of the life jackets tested had out-of-date firing cartridges. An out-of-date cartridge increases the probability of inadvertent inflation of the Life Jacket due to the deterioration of the powder capsule and a possibility of failure when required. In simple terms, this means that the life jacket runs the risk of inflating when it is not needed, and it also increases the chances of not inflating when you do need to rely on it

RNLI Maintenance Check

The firing cartridge on your life jacket will have a date stamped on the mechanism, so please check the date before any trip you may be going on, it could save your life.

A few other things that may be wrong with your life jacket:

Loose Gas Bottles, this can allow the bottle to unscrew upon activation and under-inflate or fail to inflate the life jacket.

Jackets with corrosion on the Gas Bottles, this corrosion leaves a rough surface that can act like sandpaper wearing a hole in the bladder which can cause a failure to inflate.

A few things that aren't failures in the test but are certainly advisories for your life jacket as they come HIGHLY recommended by the RNLI.

crotch strap - is a very simple addition that can make a huge difference. Here is a video of the effects of not having a crotch strap on your life jacket can have, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDx1C6d6JFU

 A Light ­– a light, reflective straps and a whistle will make it much easier for you to be found if you do fall in the water.

A Spray Hood -  this helps reduce your risk of drowning, as it will keep wind-blown spray away from your face, allowing you to breathe.

As studies have shown us that 80% of fatalities could have been prevented by wearing a serviced life vest, it is useful for you to know that the RNLI will be attending the Pike Anglers AGM on the 15th April, and currently have various Water Safety events over summer the around Loch Lomond, promoted by Loch Lomond Park on Social media. The RNLI have also stated that if there are any clubs or events you would like them to attend, you can contact them directly!

Your lifejacket may save your life one day, but only if you maintain it properly. If your lifejacket is faulty, all you’re wearing is a dead weight.

 Stay safe out there folks! 

You can also REGISTER YOUR INTEREST with the RNLI to find out more about clinics and projects in your area.