Over The Bow Volume 76 Issue 1 Winter 2018 - Page 48

AFETY IS ALWAYS PARAMOUNT on any mission or any time we’re on the

water. Coast Guard seamen and Auxiliarists are required to wear a PFD any

time the vessel is underway. For recreational boaters under way, children 13

years old and younger*must wear a PFD when on-deck and adults must have PFDs “readily available”. Readily Available means in an unlocked, accessible compartment and NOT in the sealed plastic bag from the manufacturer.

Besides the obvious functionality of keeping you afloat in the water, the color, usually orange, red or yellow, is a major component of allowing you to be rescued.


These pictures are from a practice SAR conducted by AUXAIR in a twin-engine Beech aircraft. I was part of the crew on this training exercise. The target of our search was the NOAA Weather Buoy (44094) off the coast of Fire Island, NY. The buoy is approximately 4 feet in diameter and bright yellow. The key to being rescued is to make yourself visible.

Click image for NOAA Buoy Center