33 CFR § 175.23 - Serviceable condition.

§ 175.23 Serviceable condition.

A PFD is considered to be in serviceable condition for purposes of § 175.21(a) only if the following conditions are met:

(a) No PFD may exhibit deterioration that could diminish the performance of the PFD, including -

(1) Metal or plastic hardware used to secure the PFD on the wearer that is broken, deformed, or weakened by corrosion;

(2) Webbings or straps used to secure the PFD on the wearer that are ripped, torn, or which have become separated from an attachment point on the PFD; or

(3) Any other rotted or deteriorated structural component that fails when tugged.

(b) In addition to meeting the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section, no inherently buoyant PFD, including the inherently buoyant components of a hybrid inflatable PFD, may exhibit -

(1) Rips, tears, or open seams in fabric or coatings, that are large enough to allow the loss of buoyant material;

(2) Buoyant material that has become hardened, non-resilient, permanently compressed, waterlogged, oil-soaked, or which shows evidence of fungus or mildew; or

(3) Loss of buoyant material or buoyant material that is not securely held in position.

(c) In addition to meeting the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section, an inflatable PFD, including the inflatable components of a hybrid inflatable PFD, must be equipped with -

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, a properly armed inflation mechanism, complete with a full inflation medium cartridge and all status indicators showing that the inflation mechanism is properly armed;

(2) Inflatable chambers that are all capable of holding air;

(3) Oral inflation tubes that are not blocked, detached, or broken;

(4) A manual inflation lanyard or lever that is not inaccessible, broken, or missing; and

(5) Inflator status indicators that are not broken or otherwise non-functional.

(d) The inflation system of an inflatable PFD need not be armed when the PFD is worn inflated and otherwise meets the requirements of paragraphs (a) and (c) of this section.

[CGD 93-055, 61 FR 13926, Mar. 28, 1996]

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