Everyone has to make their own decisions and live or die by them. Honestly, I don't see anything wrong with the decisions that were made. Sure having a PFD would be a good idea, but it is not necessary on every run in the world. I will argue that having a helmet is perhaps one of the best ideas you could ever have. I will never go kayaking without a helmet, and I probably will never boat with someone that does not have a helmet. A PFD on the other hand is useful on almost all runs, but not as important as a helmet (on most runs).
We all make our own decisions. It is called personal responsibility. I can make my decision if I wish to boat with someone who is making poor decisions regarding personal responsibility, but that is all.
Don't let it get under your skin. Some people are very conservative regarding certain things, others are not. Who am I to say which is right or wrong? I have made my own decisions, and some have disagreed with a few of those decisions. My choice, not theirs.
ehhh...enough of my triade. Take care.