46 CFR 160.001-2 - General characteristics of life preservers.
(a) A life preserver must be of such construction, material and workmanship that it can perform its intended function in all weathers and at all temperatures which may be expected in the normal usage of the life preserver. All components used in the construction of a life preserver must meet the applicable requirements of subpart 164.019 of the chapter.
(b) A life preserver must be capable of supporting a minimum of 22 pounds in fresh water for 48 hours.
(c) Life preservers which depend upon loose or granulated material for buoyancy are prohibited.
(d) A life preserver must be:
(1) Simple in design;
(2) Capable of being:
(i) Worn inside-out,
(ii) worn clearly in only one way, or
(iii) Donned correctly without demonstration, instructions, or assistance by at least 75 percent of persons unfamiliar with the design; and
(3) Capable of being quickly adjusted for a secure fit to the body of wearers for which it is intended.
(e) A life preserver shall support the wearer in the water in an upright or slightly backward position, and shall provide support to the head so that the face of an unconscious or exhausted person is held above the water.
(f) A life preserver shall be capable of turning the wearer, upon entering the water, to a safe flotation position as described in paragraph (e) of this section.
(g) A life preserver shall not be appreciably deteriorated or rendered unable to perform its intended function by common oils or oil products.
(h) A life preserver shall be of a highly visible color, such as Indian Orange, International Orange, or Scarlet Munsell Red.
(i) A life preserver shall be of such construction, materials, and workmanship as to be at least equivalent to a standard type life preserver described in detail by other subparts in this part.
(j) Each thread in a life preserver regulated under subparts 160.002, 160.005 and 160.055 of this part must meet the requirements of a Federal or military specification in table 164.023-5(a) of this chapter. Only one kind of thread may be used in each seam.