Quick check before you hit the water next weekend! Does everyone have a life jacket? Does it still fit?
Life jackets, or Personal Flotation Devices (PFD), are the most important piece of equipment on your boat! Additionally, size and fit are the most critical factors when it comes to life jacket safety. More than two thirds of boating deaths are drowning incidents, with 90% of victims not wearing a life jacket. Here are some more life jacket safety tips:
- PFDs must be readily accessible and not in an out-of-reach location or in the original packaging.
- Life jackets must be Type I, II, III, or V.
- Any boat 16 ft or longer must carry a throwable PFD, or Type IV.
- Inflatable life jackets must be properly armed with an unused gas cylinder, and are only for use by persons 16 years or older.
Life Jacket Safety Requirements
There must be a properly fitting PFD available for each person aboard a recreational vessel. PFD’s must also be: Coast Guard approved, in serviceable condition, and the appropriate size for the intended wearer. When on a moving vessel, they are a requirement for children under 13, unless they are below deck or in an enclosed cabin. Each state may have different or additional requirements, depending on the water activity. Click here to check your states requirements and to learn about the Life Jacket Loaner Program through Boat U.S.!
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