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Flotation Devices (PFD's)
Personal Flotation Devices
Safety Equipment Requirements
Class 1 (16 to less than 26ft)
Class 2 (26 to less than 40ft)
Class 3 (40 to less than 65ft)
Each PFD must be in good condition, the proper size for the intended wearer, and very importantly, must be readily accessible! Readily accessible means you must be able to put the PFD on in a reasonable amount of time in an emergency (boat sinking, on fire, etc.) PFDs should not be stowed in plastic bags, in locked or closed compartments or have other dear stowed on top of them.
With nine out of 10 drownings occurring in inland waters, often within a few feet of safety and involving boats smaller than 20 feet, most drowning victims had access to a life jacket but did not wear it. The solution is simple: find life jackets right for you and your passengers, and wear them.
I: Offshore Life Jackets
TYPE II: Near-Shore Vests
TYPE III: Flotation Aids
If your boat is 16 feet or longer (except canoes and kayaks), it must also have at least one of the following:
* Throwable flotation device (Type IV)
All PFDs must be in good and serviceable condition, and legibly marked showing the USCG approval number. The PFDs must be of the proper size for the intended wearer. sizing for PFDs is based on body weight and chest size.
Children under 6 years of age must wear a USCG-approved Type I, II, or III PFD at all times while underway on any boat 26 feet or less in length.
Each person onboard a PWC (personal water craft), and anyone being towed behind a boat or PWC, must wear a USCG-approved PFD. Inflatable PFDs are not to be work on PWC or while water skiing.