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PFD Chest Harness Best Practice

Chest harnesses are a familiar part of all whitewater rescue PFDs these days, allowing you to enter the water attached to a tether, or to help with bank belays.

PFD Chest Harness Best Practice
PFD Chest Harness Best Practice

Research by Loel Colins and Chris Onions at the University of Central Lancashire found that 25% of chest harness releases failed to release properly under low load.

Building on this research, Palm have designed two new buoyancy aid chest harness systems. Watch this video to check your harness is set up properly.

Onions, C,. & Colins, L. (2013). A review of quick release harness performance in water rescue. International Journal of Emergency Services. Volume 2, issue 2

Colins, L., & Onions, C. (2014). Improving the performance of the Quick release rescue harness. Journal of Search and Rescue. Volume 1, issue 3

1 Comment

  1. Andy

    I was taught there is 2 methods for setting up your release belt. 1 without going through the metal tension taking buckle this way it is an easy release if recovering gear and need the belt to release.

    The second is where you do go through the metal tension buckle and you do not want it to release, such as a live bait rescue – if it did release you may be dead.

    If you cut the tail to a stupidly short length (3 cm overhang) I would not feel secure doing a live bait rescue. It would also make a release harder as you cannot pull the overhang tail, you have to grab the tiny string on the plastic buckle which has broken on many Palm PFD’s in the past

    Try again

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