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How Do the Service Points Work?
Drop Life Jackets off at one of our UK Service Points and fill in a short form, The Life Jacket will then be sent to SeaSafe in Cowes for servicing. You will then be contacted if we need to ask any questions about your Jackets. Once payment is received we will send the blue box of Life Jackets back to the relevant Service Point.
The Servicing Process
Your Life Jacket arrives at Seasafe in one of our Blue Boxes. We check it over and write down the make, model, age and service history.
We note any causes for concern; it might have been packed incorrectly, the gas bottle may be empty, loose or not screwed in correctly, there may have been no automatic firing cap fitted, a charity pin badge may have been attached directly through lung piercing a hole, the antistatic Hammar unit might be out of date or used, there may be a broken clip or the jacket might smell badly of fuel or be rotten / damp.
Life Jacket Ancillaries
The servicing department assesses the Life Jacket and records what new components the life jacket will need to ensure it passes, the Life Jacket will need to pass the inflation test and after this the components will be fitted.
Crotch Straps and SOLAS Lights
Please let SeaSafe know if you require a new crotch strap or a SOLAS Light. If your jacket has a broken SOLAS Light we will replace it unless you specify otherwise. The crotch strap is supplied with all life jackets and is an important device which is vital to secure the life jacket in position on inflation. If you were to test your life jacket with and without a crotch strap you would always wear your crotch strap!
Please Note: Crotch straps are needed for us to provide a certificate.
The Inflation Test
We inflate the life jacket using our compressor and leave it inflated for 24 hours.
During this time, some life jackets immediately deflate like a balloon or sag slightly. If the lung has shown any signs of deflation, whether it’s a tiny bit softer or completely flat, we then immerse the re-inflated jacket into water which shows us the location of the leak. The air might be escaping from a leaking oral valve or in more serious cases, a hole or holes.
Delamination and Holes
Frighteningly, we frequently find holes, rips and cuts to the internal Life Jacket lung, have a look at our Rogues Gallery to see some shocking examples we come across on a weekly basis. The holes we come across can be explained by simple mistakes such as throwing the jacket into a locker, dropping the jacket on the floor, hanging the jacket on a fence. Anything other than placing the jacket carefully into a dry flat safe place. Holes can also be caused by a rusty bottle or severe damp and rot.
When the life jacket passes the service we will re-arm and re-pack it, and then send it back to the service point in its Blue Box. We will also give you the service certificate if the life jacket is 10 years old or less. Please let us know if you require a certificate. SeaSafe will telephone you to let you know when the jacket will be back at the service point.
If your life jacket is over 10 years old but you require a certificated jacket this would be an instant fail. However we can service the jacket anyway and if it passes the other tests, it will be perfectly adequate for general use, you will not be able to use it in situations where you require certification, eg: racing, events or commercial purposes.
Failed Life Jackets
If your life jacket fails due to damage, it is company policy to retain the product and destroy it to ensure it cannot be mistaken for a working life jacket. For safety, yours and ours, we destroy all failures.
We are compiling a database of problems the SeaSafe Servicing Department comes across on a daily basis so we can better understand and educate people on life jacket safety.
We are a company driven by safety, our goal is to encourage people to wear life jackets and educate people why it is of vital importance to wear a life jacket and look after it.
It is all very well donning a jacket but on our inspection a startlingly large percentage of life jackets would not have worked properly or at all if needed. Have a look at our Rogues Gallery to see examples.
LIFEJACKETS ARE A PIECE OF TECHNICAL EQUIPMENT AND NEED TO BE PROPERLY MAINTAINED THROUGHOUT THEIR LIFETIME.