National Safe Boating Week 2010 May 22 – 28, 2010

In: Boat Safety

25 May 2010

Life Jackets for Recreational Water Sports
Today’s life jackets may not be what you think – many are lightweight, easy to move in, and come in many sizes, styles, and shapes for every person and every sport.  There are even ones for pets!

The U. S. Coast Guard requires recreational vessels to have a wearable life jacket for each person aboard. These life jackets must be:

  • U. S. Coast Guard approved
  • The proper size for the intended wearer
  • In good and serviceable condition
  • Properly stowed (readily accessible)

As per USCG rule, all persons under 13 years of age must wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket, while aboard recreational vessels underway, except when below decks or in an enclosed cabin. This rule affects only those states that have not established requirements, by statute or rule, for children to wear life jackets. For the remaining states, the rule recognizes and adopts the existing state regulation, even if it is less stringent.

Note: Boating out-of-state? There may be a different age requirement. Check with that state’s boating authorities before heading out on the water.

The U.S. Coast Guard has more life jacket information here.

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