Dec 162010

image Some lifejacket cheststraps may present a hazard in an emergency, warns the US Coastguard.

Recent Coast Guard inspections of Type I Personal Flotation Devices, (PFDs) in both adult and child size, identified a potential hazard that could prevent proper donning in the event of an emergency. The chest strap was threaded through the fixed “D” ring that the strap is intended to clip to when worn. (Image left)
It was discovered that several PFDs were assembled this way at the factory and if not corrected could create a hazardous condition during an emergency when they are donned.
Instead of the strap falling away, allowing the wearer to wrap it around him or her, the clip end of the strap could snag in the “D” ring preventing the wearer from getting it around their body. (Following image)
(PFDs shown on this page are for example purposes only and are not Kent

Manufacturer, Models and Lot Numbers known to be affected:

Kent Adult Model 8830 (USCG Approval Number
160.055/184/0) in Lot 53W manufactured in October 2006
Kent Child Model 8820 (USCG Approval Number
160.055/150/0) in Lot 012T manufactured in March 2008

image The Coast Guard strongly recommends that vessel owners/operators using the PFDs listed above check each lifejacket for proper routing of the strap. Completely unwrap
the primary strap to ensure it is free and capable of being adjusted for any wearer. The strap of the lifejacket must not be threaded through the fixed “D” ring. If routing is satisfactory, the strap may be wrapped around the life jacket and clipped to the fixed “D” ring for storage. (Right image)

If the strap is incorrectly threaded through the  fixed “D” ring, the snap hook assembly should be carefully removed from the strap, the strap pulled out of the fixed “D” ring, and the snap hook assembly re-attached.

Vessel owners/operators are also encouraged as part of general preventative maintenance to  verify that all their PFDs are in fully serviceable condition with an inspection of the straps, components, fabric and flotation material. Any significant deterioration in condition or poorly functioning imagehardware indicates a replacement is necessary.

Please contact the manufacturer representative at the address below if additional information is needed.
Kent Sporting Goods Co.
433 Park Avenue S.
New London, OH 44851 image
Mr. Wayne Walters
Phone: (706) 769-1682)
Developed by the United States Coast Guard Headquarters Lifesaving and Fire Safety Division with assistance from the Office of Investigations and Analysis. Questions may be addressed to Mr. Martin L. Jackson: or 202.372.1391.

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