Boaters enjoy the feel of sun and spray. So it’s tempting to boat without wearing a life jacket – especially on nice days. But modern life jackets are available in a wide variety of shapes, colors, and sizes. Many are thin and flexible. Some are built right into fishing vests or hunter coats. Others are inflatable — as compact as a scarf or fanny pack until they hit water, when they automatically fill with air.
There’s no excuse not to wear a life jacket on the water!
How to Choose the Right Life Jacket Brochure - PDF
Things to Know:
•Certain life jackets are designed to keep your head above water and help you remain in a position which permits proper breathing.
•To meet U.S. Coast Guard requirements, a boat must have a U.S. Coast Guard-approved Type I, II, III, or V life jacket for each person aboard. Boats 16 feet and over must have at least one Type IV throwable device as well.
•All states have regulations regarding life jacket wear by children.
•Adult-sized life jackets will not work for children. Special life jackets are available. To work correctly, a life jacket must be worn, fit snugly, and not allow the child’s chin or ears to slip through.
• Life jackets should be tested for wear and buoyancy at least once each year. Waterlogged, faded, or leaky jackets should be discarded.
•Life jackets must be properly stowed.
•A life jacket — especially a snug-fitting flotation coat or deck-suit style — can help you survive in cold water.
How Do Life Jackets Save Lives?
• When capsized in rough water.
• When sinking in unexpectedly heavy sea conditions.
• When thrown from the boat as a result of a collision.
• When injured by rocks or submerged objects.
• When unconscious from carbon monoxide fumes.
• When tossed into freezing water.
• When thrown off balance while fishing.
• When unable to swim because of heavy or waterlogged clothing.