Regular sailors sometimes ask us if they can bring their own lifejackets and specifically, whether the airlines will allow them on flights.
In basic terms, most airlines will allow you to bring a lifejacket on board but the pressurised gas canister presents a problem. Cylinders with compressed gas within them are classified by airlines as dangerous goods by the CAA.
However, the RYA have asked for clarification on this and they have been informed that passengers travelling with a life jacket containing small compressed CO2 canisters (and up to 2 x spare canisters) may be allowed to travel with them. That said, there is still some uncertainty and the CAA recommend that all passengers make their own enquiries of the airline before checking in.
Of course, one assumes that travelling without canisters would be acceptable, in which case buying new canisters on arrival would, perhaps, be an alternate option.
The other point worth addressing here is that as an RYA accredited training school operating MCA coded vessels, we are obliged to have all safety equipment (including life jackets) regularly checked and periodically serviced.
You see, we know our jackets have been serviced and checked in accordance with current law - and we hold the paperwork to prove it! We can’t say the same for your own jacket - so please, leave your own life jacket safe at home when attending a Jolly Parrot sailing course or event.