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It was a good idea not to fall in the sea! But if you did a lifejacket helped to keep you afloat.
Click here for a fuller History of lifejackets
 

 
 Early life jackets were made of cork and were bulky and uncomfortable to wear

 
  Kapok ( a natural material) was also tried

 

Inflatable lifejackets (called Mae Wests) were used by airmen during WW2
 

 

Modern Lifejackets automatically inflate and are comfortable to wear