Life jackets and buoyancy aids

While out on the water, both life jackets and buoyancy aids can make a big difference in keeping girls safe

Life jackets and buoyancy aids help keep girls safe on the water

Life jackets - keep the user afloat in an upright position with their head out of the water, even if they become unconscious.

Buoyancy aids - keep the user afloat while allowing them full movement.

One of these personal flotation devices must be worn:

  • if the participant is a non-swimmer
  • if the activity instructor considers it necessary
  • when abandoning ship
  • if the participant feels they want to wear one.

A life jacket provides a higher degree of safety so may be worn in place of a buoyancy aid, but a buoyancy aid should not be substituted for a life jacket. Buoyancy aids and life jackets must be the right size for the participant and worn in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions and the classification of water.

Whether you need to use a life jacket or a buoyancy aid will depend on the nature of the activity, weather conditions and location. Follow the guidance of a qualified activity instructor and check our advice on which device to wear for each activity.

Before undertaking an activity, you need to make sure that any buoyancy aids and life jackets used comply with EU standards. These will have a CE mark on the label. If you are buying buoyancy aids and life jackets or the equipment in the centre has a different kite mark, please contact [email protected]