I am a stickler for wearing a life-jacket when at sea, but to be honest I am not so diligent when on land near water, or even boarding my boat from the marina pontoon. Looking around, I see that is not unusual but statistically most drownings occur within one metre of safety – such as falling off a boat while moored, or off a pontoon deck. I noticed the Baltic range of buoyancy aid clothing on promotion recently, which fit the bill perfectly. These are buoyancy aids which look and fit like clothing, so you are more likely to wear them. I chose the Sandhamn- a stylish gilet which I would wear for comfort and warmth anyway, and is also a fully functioning 50N buoyancy aid. It is available in red, black and white, in sizes S to XXL or 60Kg to 100Kg. I chose a Large size which is a snug fit on a 42″ chest and light clothing. Added features are two zipped outside pockets, a fleece collar, an inside zipped pocket and a crotch strap. I haven’t yet tested it by falling in, but I have tested the drying qualities after our cat chose to wee on it. I gave it a good rinse and hung it in our shower overnight. It was bone dry in the morning, even the fleece collar. I’m still not friends with the cat though.
I bought my Baltic Sandhamn for a very good online price at www.anodeoutlet.co.uk Clare Blatchford-Hanna has offered Boat-Angling readers free shipping if you use the code freeship in the coupon box at checkout. While you are there, have a look at Clare’s impressive range of anodes too.