Good read. Thanks. Certainly, the advantages of a Spinlock have nothing to do with looking cool. Does it look cool? That's news to me and rather snide on your part, I just find it comfortable. I like the integrated harness, crotch straps included, replaceable bladder and easily maintained trigger and inflator. Not to mention comfort. It must be maintained to work properly. All vests do.
It wasn't clear if the deceased was wearing crotch straps, but they were also caught up in the rigging for a time, IIRC. At least when I bought mine, the straps came with the vest and I consider them mandatory, no matter the vest. Maybe some find crotch straps uncomfortable or don't snug them properly.
I did start to drift off in the US sailing report, so maybe they noted the recency of maintenance to their vests.
The suggestion that any vest be tested in the water, inflated, is a great one. I will bet 99% of boaters have never done so. One should have in-water practice climbing into a raft as well, which I now believe it mandatory in Safety at Sea. It was available but not mandatory, when I last took it.