Life vests and life jackets are known as personal flotation devices of PFDs. They are meant to keep a person afloat in the water in case of an emergency. They are considered life-saving equipment. Their main function is to keep a person on the surface of the water in a relatively upright position in order to allow the person to breathe.
History Of PFDs
Did you know who first built life-preserving devices? It was actually the Norwegian seamen. They made use of blocks of wood or cork-stuffed vests. When organizations such as Britain’s Royal National Lifeboat Institution started using PFDs, their use became widespread. The institution used the Kisbee ring which is a type of ring buoy in 1855. This was invented by Lt. Thomas Kisbee. But prior to this invention, a cork life belt was first invented in 1854 by Navy Cmdr. J.R. Ward.
In the US, Congress passed a law which required ships to carry life preservers. Also, they set up a Board of Supervising Inspectors which set standards as well as rules.
For many years, cork and kapok lifejackets were standard for many years. War has greatly influenced the invention of inflatable lifejacket as it was worn by submariners and sailors. Such military technology was then applied to consumer lifejackets. These have developed in many styles that people see today.
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