Self-servicing your lifejackets

So you’ve bought the latest slimline range of lifejackets but you’re not sure how often or when you need to service them? Follow our easy step by step guides below or videos to make sure your jackets are always armed and ready to inflate, should there be an emergency.

Firstly how often do I need to inspect my water-activated or user-activated lifejacket?

Jackets should be externally and internally visually inspected periodically for corrosion and damage. If the lifejacket has signs of damage do not use.

What exactly am I inspecting and looking for?

Follow along to the video below and learn how to periodically visually check your lifejacket at home (externally and internally), alternatively follow our step by step guide below. This guide is suitable for both water activated and user activated lifejackets.

Step by step guide:

  • Firstly check the outer fabric of the lifejacket for cuts, tears, abrasion and signs of damage.
  • Then unzip the jacket so the yellow bladder is visible.
  • Unscrew the canister (don’t worry it won’t go off – and if it does by any chance its only CO2 which is what you breathe out of your mouth).
  • Check the canister for corrosion and puncture. Also check the section where it screws into the release trigger and the green clip/tab is still in place (do not pull the cord or remove the green tab). 
  • Check there is no freying on the pull cord and the whistle is still in-tact.
  • If your lifejacket is water inflating, check the black capsule's expiry date and take note when this must be replaced next. A good place to store these details is in the Recfishwest app under my tools > my safety gear. Check the base of the black bobbin without removing it, to ensure there is a green cap in place. Some jackets also have an indicator window displaying green if the black capsule is intact. If the indicator or green capsule is displaying red then the bobbin could have been fired or damaged and must not be used. It will need to be replaced.

  • Manually inflate the jacket through the mouth tube until fully inflated - leave inflated overnight.
  • If inflated the following day, your lifejacket has no holes (which is a good start). A lifejacket that is leaking will not hold its firmness and must be replaced.

  • Screw the canister back into place tightly
  • Deflate the jacket via the end of the mouthpiece – push in end to release air
  • Repack the lifejacket as per instructions on the lifejacket; with the yellow bladder inside (don’t worry if it’s not packed as per manufacture).
  • Ensure manual toggle/pull cord is accessible 

TIP: All Crewsaver lifejackets come with a user manual. It is highly recommended to familiarise yourself with its contents and keep it somewhere accessible for it to be referenced when needed. Contents include handy top tips, how-to guides and instructions into how to keep your lifejacket action ready.

The indicator window is displaying red, the bobbin has expired or my jacket has been inflated, how do I replace the canister and bobbin?

If the lifejacket has been inflated, the canister has been pierced or damaged, the firing mechanism is expired or the indicator window is showing red, you'll need to rearm your lifejacket.

Instructions for manual lifejackets:

It's easy! Simply remove the old canister, and replace it with a new canister. Ensure it is securely tightened.

Then repack the lifejacket using the video demonstration below.

Instructions for automatic lifejackets:

Follow the video steps below.

How do I repack the jacket?

Learn how to repack your lifejacket after servicing in this video:

Can Recfishwest or Fish and Survive service it?

Unfortunately we are not certified to service your lifejacket. However it can be done yourself or by a Survitec Qualified Technician. In WA the drop off point is Survitec24 Hines Road, O’Connor  WA  6163. We suggest calling or emailing them first

Where can I buy the replacement canisters from?

You can find them at local tacklestores, check out a list of stockists here.

Cleaning and storing your lifejacket:

Store in a dry, well ventilated space. If the lifejacket is wet or damp, and it is fitted with an automatic firing capsule, it is advisable to remove the capsule until the lifejacket is completely dry. Any dampness in the jacket may penetrate the capsule and eventually cause it to operate the lifejacket.

Periodically rinse the lifejacket in freshwater, particularly if it has been in contact with salt water. Oil and similar marks should be removed by washing with warm soapy water.

After washing always allow your lifejacket to dry naturally before stowing in a dry place.

*Please note, by servicing your lifejacket at home, it may void all warranties.