Coast Guard Issues Lifejacket Warning

Fixed D Ring. The PFD shown is for example purposes only and is not a Kent model.

Recent Coast Guard inspections of Type I Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) in both adult and child sizes identified a potential hazard among certain models made by Kent Manufacturing that could prevent donning the PFD in the event of an emergency. In each case, the chest strap of the PFD was threaded through the fixed “D” ring that the strap is intended to clip to when worn (see image).

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 his body, the clip end of the strap could snag in the “D” ring, preventing the wearer from getting it around his body.

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.
Snag at D Ring. The PFD shown is for example purposes only and is not a Kent model.

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 lifejacket and clipped to the fixed “D” ring for storage.

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 hardware indicates a replacement is necessary. Please contact the manufacturer representative at the address below if additional information is needed.

Contact Information:

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