When you are on your boat next, do me a favor: try it out. Take your Type IV throwable PFD – life ring, horse collar, cushion – and throw it overboard. Time yourself. If it took you more than three to five seconds, things just went wrong. Look at the life ring in the photo above. To effectively use that particular life ring you would have to untie the small line securing it at the rail, and then unravel the polypropylene line before giving it a heave. I’m guessing, but I’m betting that would take longer than five seconds.