Be Smart. Be Safe.

Lifejackets are for Everyone.
Education Program


We are pleased to provide a comprehensive and flexible education program intended to influence consumer attitudes and behavior concerning lifejacket wear.

Undertaken by the Personal Flotation Device Manufacturers Association (PFDMA) with the support and contributions of numerous representatives from the boating safety community, this education initiative was made possible through a grant from the Aquatic Resources (Wallop Breaux) Trust Fund administered by the United States Coast Guard.

It targets the single biggest challenge area in boating safety today: preventing boating fatalities attributable to boaters not wearing lifejackets. The most recent boating statistics indicate that nearly 85% of boating related drowning victims were not wearing lifejackets.

Getting people to wear lifejackets – not just carry them on board their boats -- is the primary goal.

The core of the education program is a new video highlighting the vast improvements in lifejacket performance, design and range of choices – improvements that make lifejackets more comfortable and attractive to wear and less obtrusive to the enjoyment of a broad range of boating-related activities. The video features high-energy, upbeat footage and a wide variety of on-water activities and user groups. It is particularly targeted to boater segments that have been identified as high risk for boating-related drownings, including anglers, hunters, paddlers and children.

Together with Training Tools and other support materials included on the CD, this education program is intended to provide the boating and water safety community with a package of flexible tools to help them tailor the lifejacket wear message to specific needs (different audiences, educational settings, etc.)

VHS Format

The video segments run one after the other in the order outlined below, with a few seconds of blank screen in between each segment. The approximate run times for each segment are noted below, and can be used to cue up the various segments on a video player.

  1. I. Life Jacket Basics (12 min)

    This segment includes a brief overview of federal regulatory requirements, boating safety facts, reasons to wear life jackets, a description of life jacket Types, and tips on proper life jacket fit and maintenance:

    • Introduction
    • Federal Requirements
    • Rationale for Wearing a Life Jacket
    • Highlight of Improvements
    • PFD/Boat Safety Facts
    • Coast Guard Label
    • Description of Lifejacket Types
      • General: Inherently Buoyant, Inflatable, Hybrid
      • Types I - V
    • Fit, Inspection & Maintenance
  2. II. Activity-Specific Segments: (5 min)

    The activity segments feature fast-paced video footage of various boating activities. Each of these segments includes examples of life jacket types and features designed for these activities, as well as activity-specific precautions and tips:

    • Introduction (30 seconds)
    • Fishing & Hunting (1 min, 30 seconds)
    • Paddlesports (55 seconds)
    • Day Cruising (30 seconds)
    • Watersports & Personal Watercraft (55 seconds)
    • Sailing (40 seconds)
    • Closing Segment (40 seconds)
  3. III. PSAs

    The video concludes with a number of relevant boating safety Public Service Announcements available for use by the boating safety representatives in support of their community media efforts.

    Eight safety PSAs, as follows:

    • John Amos – 5 seconds
    • Ray Scott – 5 seconds
    • Nick and Aaron Carter – 5 seconds
    • Ray Scott – 15 seconds
    • Nick and Aaron Carter – 15 seconds
    • John Amos – 15 seconds
    • John Amos – 30 seconds (courtesy of National Safe Boating Council)
    • Labonte Brothers – 20 seconds (courtesy of US Coast Guard)


The CD contains the same outline of video segments as the VHS, with the option of playing the video in its entirety or playing each individual segment. In addition, the CD contains the Training Tools.



  1. Introduction to the Educational Program
    • Video Format & Content
    • Presentation Options
    • Demonstration Options
    • Required & Optional Equipment
    • Resources
  2. Lesson Plan
  3. Pre-Test
    • Quiz
    • Answer Key
  4. LifeJacket Game Show
  5. Example of Coast Guard label
  6. Promoting Life Jackets: Guidelines for Boat Show Managers and Event Producers
  7. Staging a Live PFD Fashion Show: Guidelines for Safety Officers, Show Managers & Event Producers
  8. Virtual PFD Fashion Show
  9. Certificate of Completion
  10. Feedback Form


Be Smart. Be Safe. CD cover
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