IMPORTANCE OF LIFE JACKET MAINTENANCE AND INSPECTION
July of 2016, when the U.S. Coast Guard inspected two vessels in Key West, FL, they found more than 60 life jackets that were unsafe for use. Despite being properly stored, kept dry and out of direct sunlight, inspectors found that â€œthe unicellular foam buoyant material within the nylon outer shell had degraded significantly over time, broke apart, crumbled and in some instances was reduced to dust.” Though attempts had been taken to properly store the life jackets, they failed their life jacket maintenance and inspection. The storage area, while kept dry, was exposed over time to high heat, causing the 9-year old Type 1 life jackets to literally fall apart within the vest. Footnote – the company that produced this life jacket is no longer in business.