The Inspections and Compliance Directorate published a Marine Safety Alert, informing of potentially dangerous circumstances involving Cal-June Jim Buoy Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs), as following inspections to different vessels, the USCG found a significant number of Type I PFDs that were not wearable if needed during an emergency.
Normally, when one wears the type of PFD, they grab both sides of the vest to pull them apart and the waistband strap is free to move.
In this case, the strap will slide through the left side of the PFD and the user will then able to pull it over their head, pass the strap around their body, clip the end to the D-ring, and tighten it.
However, the inspections concluded to the fact that the strap had not only been secured at its fixed end, but also fused to the side where it should move freely. This will prevent the user from separating the halves of the PFD and get it over their head.
Then, inspectors noted what appears to be the PFD’s vinyl coating had adhered the strap to the wearer’s right side of the PFD where it passes through the wearer’s right half of the jacket.
Therefore, the USCG alerts tha Jim-Buoy Models #601 or #603 (approval numbers 160.055/115/0 and 160.055/116/0, respectively) with both sides of the vinyl that are fused to the straps are non-compliant and have to be replaced, commenting that ‘While defective PFDs have been found marked with lot numbers 1500, 1540, 1550, 1552, 1553, 1554, 1561, 1614, and 1689, we cannot confirm that this is an exhaustive list.’
Moreover, the USCG recommends that
Owners and operators that have this type of PFD onboard their vessels inspect each one for this condition. If problematic PFDs are discovered, owners and operators are requested to report their findings to the Coast Guard Office of Design and Engineering Standards