A lifejacket is NOT the same as a personal flotation device (PFD). Both terms are used interchangeably but there are very important differences.
- Designed to turn an unconscious person from face down to face up in the water, allowing them to breathe.
- Lifejackets have more buoyancy than PFDs.
- Must be red, yellow or orange, and must have a whistle attached. These features make it easier to be located in a rescue situation.
- Best choice if you're unable to swim or a weak swimmer.
PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICE (PFD)
- Designed to keep a conscious person afloat in calm conditions.
- PFDs have less buoyancy. The floatation material is on the back of the device. This makes them less bulky and more comfortable allowing for greater movement than a lifejacket.
- Designed for use in recreational boating and are a good choice for people who are confident in the water.