Life jackets of the popular 150 Newton class work well, as the test in YACHT 18/2019 showed. However, they have one flaw: as soon as a sailor passes out and wears oilskins, he is no longer reliably turned into a supine position. 275 Newton-class models have about twice as much buoyancy and promise to solve the problem.
In the official language according to ISO 12402, Part 2, the area of application of the vests reads as follows: "High seas under extreme conditions and in combination with clothing in which air can collect." In fact, this means that every sailor who wears oilskins should think about a vest in maxi size. Because as soon as the clothing is permanently waterproof, there is a risk that the air trapped in the jacket and trousers cannot escape or at least cannot escape quickly. The tricky thing about it is the additional buoyancy. Although this is distributed over the entire body; however, blisters form in the shoulder, back and buttocks area.
Large buoyancy alone is no guarantee of safety. If the vest is poorly constructed, the casualty will still lie face down in the water
Especially with loose clothing, these swim rings have a similar volume or even more volume than life jackets of the 150 Newton class. The sailor basically wears a second vest on his back. Security against fainting is only guaranteed if the life jacket can work against the air cushion and a person who is motionless, face down in the water, turns into the supine position, without any support from the rough sea.
A good spray cap is a safety plus, especially when used at sea. The function of the protective hoods can only be assessed in water
The manufacturer's information is not very helpful, it relates to the standard test, and it takes place in swimwear, which is not practical. It is therefore hardly surprising that a test person dressed in oilskin was not brought into the supine position by every vest - more than half of the test vests failed in this exercise.