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Equipping Your PFD for Rescue

Wearing a quick-release rescue PFD is only the beginning of getting prepared for rescue situations on the water. Experienced rescuers equip their life jackets with the gear needed to perform basic rescue functions. In this short video, we show you what the experts carry and how they stow the gear on their PFDs.

Having this gear on your person is very important. Yes, you can carry more things in your boat, but if you’re not near your boat, and you need to act quickly, having these items with you at all times can be lifesaving.

The NRS Kayak Un-Pin Kit contains items essential for communication with other boaters and for un-pinning a stuck boat. It includes a Pro Compact Throw Bag with 75' of 1/4" rope rated at 2,495 pounds strength, 15' of 1" tubular webbing, two 8' sections of 5 mm prusik cord, two standard D carabiners, two locking D carabiners, two rescue pulleys, Z-Drag Crib Sheet and a Fox 40 whistle.

We show how all this equipment can be stowed in the in or on the NRS Zen Rescue Life Jacket. The throw bag can be hooked onto the quick-release belt on the jacket. That way should the rope get entangled and put the wearer in jeopardy it can be released safely. The 15' piece of tubular webbing, along with one of the carabiners, is fashioned into a waist belt. In addition to its use in a Z-drag, the webbing and carabiner can also be used as a flip line for righting an overturned raft.

As with all swiftwater rescue equipment it is important to seek certified rescue training before boating with it. And just having the gear isn’t enough. You need to practice with it until you become proficient. Boating has enough hazards; become prepared to promote safe boating and to be ready to perform life-saving assistance in emergency situations!