Life jacket

Article

January 18, 2022

A life jacket is one of the life-saving equipment that floats the wearer on the water and positions the head on the surface of the water. It is mainly used in pools, rivers, lakes and marshes, but it is also installed in aircraft flying over the sea. Also called a life jacket or life vest, there are various sizes and designs depending on the purpose and use. It is sometimes called "kapok" in maritime relations such as the Japanese boat racing world and the Maritime Self-Defense Force, but this is because fibers from the kapok of trees were used in the past.

Overview

Life jackets are included in emergency escape equipment in marine and water accidents. While equipment such as lifeboats and life jackets require a large amount of money and installation space for introduction and maintenance assuming that "multiple people can escape", the purpose is exclusively for personal life protection. Life jackets are relatively easy to obtain and use, and are indispensable for safety measures in small boats and pleasure boats that cannot carry lifeboats, waterside leisure such as fishing and canoeing, and various rescue teams. .. It is mandatory in many countries today and is stipulated by federal regulations in the United States. In Japan as well, the "Act on Ships' Officers and Small Vessel Operators" came into effect on June 1, 2003, and measures to wear life jackets that meet safety standards by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism have been taken. It is limited to yellow and orange, which are highly visible when searching, and a retroreflective material that reflects when it is irradiated by a searchlight is attached in a certain area, and it is resistant to water so that you can reliably request help from the surroundings. Tube-type whistle equipment is also required. In Australia, some states may impose fines, and Malcolm Turnbull was reported in the newspaper as operating an outboard motor boat during his vacation, but he did not wear a life jacket. The state has fined Australian $ 250 for violating the South Wales Ordinance.

History

Origin

The origin of life jackets is believed to be the pieces of wood and cork used by Norwegian fishermen. The lifeboat, which is close to the modern shape, is made of cork made in 1854 by Captain Ward, who was an inspector of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) in the United Kingdom, and its weather resistance and buoyancy. It was decided to be worn by the crew of the lifeboat for the purpose of. Fiber made from the nuts of Kapok trees is lightweight and has excellent water repellency, so it was used as a buoyancy material for life jackets. Therefore, "kapok", which is synonymous with life jackets, continues to be used even when kapok fibers are no longer used in the material, and remains a popular name even in the 21st century.

Mae West

Mae West is a nickname for the life jacket "Type B-4" used by the Allies during World War II. A khaki cotton vest with a rubber air sac inside. The size is about 70 cm in height, 32 cm in width, and 3 cm in thickness. Nicknamed after May West, one of the famous American actresses of the time (because she was a plump woman).

Popularization

Japan's Fujikura Rubber Industries (currently Fujikura Composite) in the 1950s, American Sterns, which developed synthetic fiber personal floatation devices (PFDs) in the 1960s, and Japan's Apollo Sports, 1970. In the 1960s, Japan Aqualung, etc.

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