Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Campbell River, British Columbia
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I think PFD's are the greatest thing since sliced bread. I would never even consider anything else.
Concerning the CO2, I use them on the boat and at work. At work, I have had them accidentally inflate around 10 times or so and it's quite common to see them lying around our work sheds inflated and ready for re-arming (others are having the same issue). The handle gets caught on fish nets and un-intentionally inflate. So at work, these are used over and over and over with no issues other than looking old and well used. On one occasion, I had one inflate on me, I ripped it off and chucked it aside while I finished what I was doing and only later did I notice that it only partially inflated. After inspecting it, I noticed that the hole in the top of the cartridge was very slight indicating to me that the handle had caught and only slightly pulled. This is all I can figure because I then inflated it the rest of the way with my mouth and it held air just fine overnight. Comparing this cartridge with other spent cartridges, was a significant difference, so I would have to say, when you pull it, give it a good solid yank and if it does fails, you can always manually inflate it.
As far as wearing a life vest over top, I would consider this to be a poor idea. These handles do get caught and when these inflate, they are quick, they inflate big and I wouldn't want anything to restrict it.
I generally tuck the handle in, but sometimes I forget and that's when they go off.
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