January 09, 2022 6 min read

Did you know that a great invention - a life jacket saves thousands of lives each year?

In the event that you find yourself in a situation where you are stranded in the water, it is extremely important that you have a proper life jacket.

Life jackets are worn to keep the head and neck above water to avoid drowning.

Life jackets can be inflated by blowing air into them or by air coming from a boat or another source.

It is recommended that you wear a life jacket whenever you are on a boat or kayak, but it is also important to have a life jacket with you in your car, at your desk at work, and even in your home.

A life vest is the perfect life-saving tool for when you find yourself out in the water. It can keep you afloat and safe for up to 24 hours if the life vest is properly fitted.

If you are wearing an inflatable life vest, you should be able to survive 2-3 hours in the water.

Could a Life Jacket Save You from a Tsunami?

girl with life jacket

The only way to be sure of surviving a tsunami is to get as far away from the sea as possible and to avoid coastal areas until the warning has been lifted. If you are near the water's edge and you feel a strong earthquake (the first signs of an incoming tsunami), it is crucial that you move immediately to higher ground.

This will buy you the time necessary to escape before the initial wave hits. If you are caught near the water's edge, it is very important that you only stay there if the water starts receding. If it does not, or if you are unsure, then it is time to retreat. If there are cliffs, then climb them-do not try to escape on foot. These are the only survival methods that can help you to escape and escape death.

Best Inflatable
ONYX Inflatable Life Jacket
  • U. S. Coast guard approved
  • Type V life jacket
  • Personal flotation device (PFD)
Best for Kids
STOHLQUIST Kids Life Jacket
  • Non-restrictive cut
  • Coast Guard approved
  • Easy entry
USCG Jacket
  • Full mobility
  • USCG approved
  • Perfect for surfing & waterskiing

Types of Life Jackets

Life jackets are devices that are worn by people who are near the water or by people who are participating in water sports. Life jackets are made to fit different sizes ranging from adults to children. There are different types of life jackets that are made for different purposes. A torso-length life jacket will fit around your waist and chest. This type of life jacket will work best for kayaking, canoeing, and other types of water sports where you are not submerged. A crotch-height life jacket is made for swimming, not for kayaking or canoeing. This type of life jacket is also designed for children. The type of life jacket you wear is determined by the situation you are in. For example, if you are boating, waterskiing, or just swimming a life jacket with a collar could help to keep your head above water, even if you are unconscious. With a properly fitting life jacket on, it is possible to extend the rescuers' reach by 25 to 30 feet, which is why it is important to always wear one when boating.

orange life vests

How Do Life Jackets Work

A life jacket is the ultimate safety device designed to keep you afloat or even save your life by providing buoyancy, warmth, and safety. Unlike some safety devices that may only keep you afloat, life jackets were created to meet safety standards. Life jackets are also made to be lightweight and provide excellent safety on the water.

Life jackets are made with durable, high-quality materials like high visibility nylon, neoprene, and closed-cell foam. Some life jackets on the market are even made with wetsuit materials. Life jackets are also designed with extra features like reflective trim for increased safety, emergency whistle, and vented back for better cooling.

Life jackets are very important when it comes to safety. The U.S. Coast Guard provides tips on how to choose the right life jacket for yourself, your family members, and your children.

  • It should be a U.S. Coast Guard-approved device that is wearable or throwable
  • Designed to keep your head above water
  • Buoyant enough to keep your mouth and nose clear of the water
  • Allows movement in any direction
  • Provides a quick and easy way for the wearer to adjust the straps
  • Durable and comfortable

Follow these guidelines on how to choose a life jacket that is right for you and your family members.

How Hypothermia Can Affect Your Survival Time

Hypothermia is a dire situation that can be deadly if not promptly treated. Hypothermia occurs when the body temperature drops below 35°C (95°F). Passive cooling, immersion in a cold environment, and a loss of insulating body fat can lead to a dangerous decrease in body temperature. Exposure to cold temperatures can lead to a slow decline in one’s the internal temperature.

A hypothermic person can typically be identified by numb skin, slow and slurred speech, lack of coordination, confusion, and exhaustion. When the body temperature drops to around 30°C (85°F) this can lead to the motor skills of the individual being disrupted. So, even an hour can play a key role in your rescue. Therefore, always keep in mind that life jackets save lives!

Is a Life Jacket Helpful for Cold Water Safety?


A life jacket can not only save your life from drowning but be extremely helpful in cold waters. Do you live in an area that gets cold during winter or have you ever gone swimming in cold water? If so, then you should have a life jacket on while swimming in cold water. The life jacket will help keep your head above water while you are swimming in the cold. It will also help to raise your body temperature so you don't get hypothermia. The life jacket will not only help you while swimming in the cold, but it will also help you while boating, so it is worth investing in. So, you could survive while waiting for help being afloat in cold water.


With a life jacket, the average person can survive for 24 hours. This all depends on a few factors such as weather and water temperature, the temperature of body while staying in cold water long, the physical condition of the person wearing the life jacket, and how much water is swallowed. The first factor is temperature. In warm water, as one's body temperature rises, the body has a harder time cooling itself. The body metabolizes adrenaline as an emergency response to cold. In colder water, as one's body temperature drops, the metabolism slows. So, water can be your friend and bring you much joy and pleasure as well as be your enemy if you don't recognize or obey important rules for the safety of your family and friends.

dog with life jacket


Can you survive in the ocean with a life jacket?

Yes, you can survive in the ocean with a life jacket. The floatation device will keep your head above water and protect you from the sun to some degree. Most life vests come with rations for this. If you find yourself in an emergency afloat situation at sea , you must stay calm (panic causes your blood to pump faster and it cools your body, leading to hypothermia ) and think before acting else you may end up making the situation worse.


Can you drown with a life jacket in a pool?

Yes you can.It would be very hard to do so though. When you wear a life jacket in a pool, it will keep you afloat in the water.

Can you swim with a life jacket?

Yes you can swim with a life jacket. A life jacket provides some safety from drowning when in the water, which is the initial hope for someone who cannot swim.
A life jacket also provides a flotation aid for people who cannot swim. In fact, some life jackets float by themselves, while others have a fabric or plastic float attached to them to prevent a person from sinking. Some life jackets have a face-diving surface while others have a flat surface on top of a buoyant life jacket

How long can a human float on water?

The average time that a human can float on water is 12 minutes. An individual's buoyancy depends on many factors, including body weight, body fat, posture, clothing, and the density of the water. Buoyancy is the upward force on an object placed in water, which is equal to the weight of the water displaced by the object.
Author - Fred Felton
Fred Felton          

Content Creator / Editor

Fred Felton is a copywriter, editor and social media specialist based in Durban, South Africa. He has over 20 years of experience in creating high end content. He has worked with some of the biggest brands in the world. Currently Fred specialises in the adventure watersports space, focussing on surf, kayak and rafting. He is also a keynote speaker and has presented talks and workshops in South Africa.

Sign up for our Newsletter

Spin to win Spinner icon