Life jacket or buoyancy aid?

Press coverage after a canoeing tragedy tends to focus on the safety precautions that those involved took. Often one reads the throwaway line ‘the victim was not wearing a lifejacket’, journalistic short-hand for ‘the person involved took inadequate precautions and therefore bears some responsibility for the fact that he or she perished’.

In the case of the recent canoeing accident on Loch Gairloch in the Scottish Highlands that claimed the lives of four people, three of them children and one aged just two, one of the survivors, Garry Mackay, has described how the children were wearing what a news website described as “buoyancy aid jackets”. Continue reading