Many boaters wear life jackets activated by one of two automatic inflating mechanism, which use a CO2 cylinder, and chemical inflator bobbin. The yellow shell bobbin replaced the original red shell bobbin in August 2002. Any red bobbins still in use should be promptly replaced. The bobbin holder should be completely tightened before the CO2 cylinder is inserted to prevent puncturing the cylinder and inadvertently inflating the life jacket. When the bobbin/pill holder is properly secured, the firing pin retracts and a green indicator is visible. There are also green/red indicators for the CO2 cylinder and (on some) a green plastic insert for the manual lanyard device. A red indicator in any area indicates the life jacket is not properly armed
If an automatic inflatable life jacket does not inflate when a wearer goes into the water, all models have a manual alternative. To manually inflate, the wearer pulls the lanyard attached to the mechanism to puncture the CO2 cylinder. If the cylinder is unused and properly installed, it will inflate the life jacket. Another option is to inflate the life jacket using the orange tube located on the wearer’s upper left side of the inner life jacket, here they will blow air into the tube until fully inflated.