Most Visible Color to Wear in Water

A water rescue is one of my nightmares…maybe a plane crashes, a cruise ship is damaged, or there’s a flood.

I just don’t think about that sort of thing very much, unless I happen to be flying over the ocean to Hawaii! Admittedly, that has only happened twice (there and back!) but my anxiety was definitely at a higher than normal level. And, I always wear black clothing, so that’s not very visible, unless I happen to crash land in a field of snow.

So I was intrigued by this study I found by Mustang Survival called “On-Water Visibility.” The study answers the question, Which color is the most conspicuous when floating on the water?

Want to take a guess before we do the big reveal?

Fluorescent green is the color most visible in water, and in particular low-light environments. Mustan Survival’s study was sponsored in part by WorkSafeBC’s Research Secretariat program. They asked the questions, because, as the info said, they simply didn’t know.

Now you do! I’m not planning on making highlighter green the new staple of my wardrobe. But if you’e buying safety gear, or you’re around water a lot, keep this in mind. Maybe I’ll pack a fluorescent green safety vest in my carry on bag next time I go to Hawaii!

And, as you might guess, Mustang Survival sells high-visibility gear. image from