Life Jacket Tips With Hunter Bland

Understanding How to Use a Life Jacket

By Ted Lund

Yamaha Pro and boating safety advocate Hunter Bland wants to share some of his knowledge of safety and life jackets with you.

Bland, one of the leading professional bass anglers today, was involved in a high-speed accident while competing in a collegiate bass tournament for the University of Florida. If it weren’t for his life jacket and properly attached kill switch, Bland’s accident could have been fatal. His boat hit the wake of another boat at high speed. Despite slowing down and maneuvering to avoid the wake, Bland’s vessel hooked, throwing him and his fishing partner into the water. Thanks to wearing a PFD (life jacket) and kill switch, Bland and his partner were able to recover safely.

“There are several different types of life jackets you can use to keep you safe on the water,” says Bland.

Standard foam life jackets are probably the ones that most people are familiar with.

“These are great, and they are comfortable for just about everybody,” says Bland. “But most of them lack the amount of buoyancy needed or like you see in an inflatable-type life vest.”


Bland has a preference when talking about PFDs

Life Jacket Tips With Hunter Bland Yamaha Pro and boating safety advocate Hunter Bland wants to share some of his knowledge of safety
Life Jacket Tips With Hunter Bland Yamaha Pro and boating safety advocate Hunter Bland wants to share some of his knowledge of safety

“My personal favorite is a Mustang Survival Elite 28 inflatable PFD,” says Bland. “At all times, I have my kill switch attached to it, so all I have to do is get in the boat, and I am ready to go.”

Bland’s preference is a hydrostatic PFD, meaning that it will deploy once immersed in water.

“With this type of jacket, you always want to check your indicator and make sure that it’s green and ready to go into operation,” says Bland.

There are a couple of other aspects that Bland prefers about the Elite 28 PFD.

“This jacket has 1.5 times more buoyancy than a standard life jacket,” says Bland. “Plus, it has a D-ring attached to the bottom of it. When I put the boat up for the day, I keep the kill switch attached to it then store the life jacket. That way, I always know where the kill switch is. Then, when I get ready to go fishing, I put the jacket in my seat. I get in, put on the jacket, hook up the kill switch, and I know I am good to crank my Yamaha SHO and go fishing.”

Yamaha Outboards is the leading manufacturer of quiet, dependable four-stroke outboards for freshwater and marine applications. From 2.5-hp dinghy motors to the all-new V8 5.6 litre 425-hp XTO, Yamaha has boaters covered anywhere on the water. To learn more about Yamaha, its other products or to find an authorized Yamaha dealer near you, visit www.yamahaoutboards.com.

Check out more great features about Yamaha Outboards, including Life Jacket Tips With Hunter Bland on our Outdoors Section: Click Here

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