The Evolution of the Life Jacket

The Life Jacket History

A life jacket, also known as a life preserver, is a piece of equipment designed to assist a person in staying afloat in water. It does this by providing buoyancy, which helps to keep a person's head above water. People often use life jackets for swimming, boating, or fishing. This amazing invention has a long and interesting history.

The First Prototypes

According to reliable sources, water lovers used hides, bladders, and hollow gourds before the invention of the first wearable personal flotation device (PDF). The first life jackets comparable to modern ones were on sale in The Sporting Magazine in the early 1800s.

Cork was the main material to make these early life jackets given its naturally buoyant properties. Lifeboat crewmen wore cork life jackets during storms or capsizing in the mid-nineteenth century.

Life Jackets Use for Whitewater Rafting

Old-fashioned water rafters didn't wear PDFs during the sport's early days. They would use a variety of items to keep them afloat if they happened to fall out of their raft, including air mattresses, rubber inner tubes, and life jackets.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, people started wearing PDFs while rafting. At this time, there were no standards or requirements for PDFs. As a result, different people would wear different types of PDFs. Some people even used military surplus life jackets.

The first Coast Guard-approved Type III life jacket was created by Maurice O'Link in the 1970s. It was lighter and more buoyant than its ocean version. These vests were just the beginning of a long road that would lead to safer river rafting for more people.

Personal Flotation Devices Nowadays

Nowadays, PDFs are commonplace in rivers and lakes all over the world. People wear PDFs of all shapes and sizes for a variety of activities. From kayaking to white water rafting, there is a PDF for every occasion. They are available for every water sport, from surfing to sailing. There are even PDFs designed for dogs and children.

It's important to always wear a PDF while enjoying the water. They may not seem like much, but life jackets can mean the difference between life and death. No matter what your activity or weather condition, there is a PDF for you. Make sure to always bring your PDF with you on your next water adventure!

A Great Place for Whitewater Rafting

If you're looking for an unforgettable experience on the water, Orange Torpedo Trips is your place. We offer whitewater rafting trips on some of the most thrilling rivers in California. Our experienced guides will ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable trip.

Experience the excitement of rafting down a roaring river! Whether you're a beginner or an expert, we have a trip. Hit the link below and book your trip today!