Originally Posted by SPR
A Spay Hood is essential too if your going to be in the water for any length of time, since when you adopt the HELP postion, ( Cross Legs and bent knees) your body will actually turn towards the waves, and this can be uncomfortable at the least or causes drowning/secondary drowning. Spray hood protects you airways and helps to prevent this.
A life jacket light is essential if you plan to go out in the night or in dusk, if your go over board at night you will find it very hard to be seen without one!
Gotta agree on the spray hood point. I did a swift water rescue course and the instructor said we must have spray hoods as secondary drowning is a very real risk.
Likewise the light is essential if you ever go out in the dusk/dark.
For an exercise get a mate out on their boat;
1) drive to two separate locations about a mile and half apart with a bit of tide on during the night,
2) throw an old fender over the side,
3) mark the location using your GPS,
4) use your VHF to exchange the locations with your mate,
5) then go and find your mates fender and vice versa.
Try and find your mates fender with a light and then try and find it without a light. (Make sure you do it in this order!
You will shortly find yourself in a chandlery in the lifejacket light department!!
Not as sure on the crotch strap point as the lifejacket won't ride up if fitted correctly and arms crossed.