PADDLERsmart! USA Knowledge Base
Module 02 - Boating Equipment
This flotation device type is NOT a life jacket. Type IV PFDs (like buoyant life rings and cushions) are meant to be THROWN to paddlers who have fallen overboard. Type IV’s are not required on board paddle craft.
- If your aim is accurate, a Type IV may be easily thrown to a person overboard from the boat.
- The overboard passenger must be capable of grasping the Type IV device until they are pulled from the water. If the fall overboard knocks the person unconscious, a Type IV device will not keep them afloat.
The Type IV flotation devices available include:
- Buoyant cushions.
- Ring buoys.
- Horseshoe buoys.