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  1. #1
    Registered Surgin' General's Avatar
    My Boats:
    1990 38 Signature Offshore
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Arlington, VA

    Coast Guard Issues Inflatable Pfd Warning

    Please check your Mustang, Protexion, and Stearns/SOSpenders inflatable PFDs, then, when you're idling out next time, hand one to anyone on your boat and ask them to put it on securely, just like you are about to do.

    Press Release Date: June 16, 2005

    Contact: Jolie Shifflet
    (202) 267-2304


    WASHINGTON – The U.S. Coast Guard has been made aware of a potential problem when installing CO2 cylinders that have bayonet tips in inflatable personal flotation devices (PFDs or life jackets). If a cylinder is not properly installed, the PFD will not inflate with CO2. The problem may affect several thousand PFDs, but the Coast Guard is only aware of one incident to date.

    Some Mustang, Protexion, and Stearns/SOSpenders PFDs using Halkey-Roberts’ inflators can indicate a green “Ready” status when the CO2 cylinder is not properly installed. This false positive green indication occurs when the cylinder-bayonet assembly is inserted in the inflator, not turned, and the cylinder is not ejected.

    The Coast Guard first became aware of this problem after receiving a report via its online consumer safety defect reporting system on May 12. The Coast Guard then contacted the manufacturers, and worked with them and Underwriters Laboratory to replicate the problem and determine the severity and means of correcting it.

    Cylinders with bayonet tips are designed to be pushed in and turned 1/8th turn clockwise to a full stop to secure the cylinder. When the cylinder is not turned to secure it in place, the PFD will not inflate with CO2. The PFD may still be inflated orally. If the CO2 cylinder is not turned, the mechanism is supposed to eject it. In some production units a false positive green indication can be achieved by simply pushing the cylinder into the mechanism without turning it 1/8th turn to a full stop. According to the consumer report, a user was led to believe the cylinder-bayonet was properly engaged without turning it due to the firm seating of the cylinder-bayonet, which also prevented the cylinder-bayonet from ejecting as designed.

    Consumers should check the website below for the model number of the PFD (located on the manufacturer’s label) to see if your PFD is affected. The manufacturers with models affected are: Mustang, Protexion, and Stearns including the SOSpenders brand.

    Updated cylinder installation instructions are on the home pages of manufacturers’ websites and at the Coast Guard website listed below. Review and follow the instructions. Check your device to ensure that the inserted CO2 cylinder-bayonet has been fully turned clockwise prior to use.

    If your PFD inflator does not eject an unturned cylinder-bayonet, contact the PFD manufacturer for servicing.

    To see the updated rearming instructions for these inflators and to see other safety alerts and recall notices, visit the following Coast Guard websites: -- See “Alerts” in the left hand column. -- See updated rearming instruction and other PFD related recalls and alerts.

    More information on the Coast Guard safety alerts and its consumer safety defect reporting program can be found at

  2. #2
    Registered bajadude's Avatar
    My Boats:
    340 Sundancer with 8.1s, formerly 1999 33 Outlaw HP500s
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Boca Raton, FL

    Re: Coast Guard Issues Inflatable Pfd Warning

    Thanks for the heads up.

  3. #3
    Registered Anarchy Powerboats's Avatar
    My Boats:
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Phoenix, Havasu, Newport

    Re: Coast Guard Issues Inflatable Pfd Warning

    Good stuff, I was about to buy some but now I need to find out if there is going to be a new modified version.

  4. #4
    VIP Member VIP Member offshoredrillin's Avatar
    My Boats:
    00 Cig Tiger,74 Cig 20'
    Join Date
    Feb 2004

    Re: Coast Guard Issues Inflatable Pfd Warning

    I just got two of the SOSpenders from Fred at trick marine, the cartridges screw in, there is no twist and lock. I think that is the new version. Call fred, his prices were great as well...Rob

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