Originally Posted by beamishken
Manual jacket almost useless if you go in unexpectedly ( which is usual)
I work offshore and do helicopter escape training and the last excersise is to swim out of the sunk simulator and set off your jacket and climb into a liferaft every time I struggle to find the toggle and set off the lifejacket once you find it it invariably slips out your hand.
This is in a practice situation in a pool where you know what's going to happen
Fall in unexpectedly add in cold water shock and I suspect you'll struggle with a manual jacket
Unless you actually intend to got in the water it's got to be an automatic.
As Beamishken say, you'll be staggered at how hard you have to pull that bl@@dy toggle and how long it takes to find it in freezing cold water. By the time you come to your senses and start fumbling around looking for it, the automatic would already have inflated.