Rescues, News, and Life Raft information. The state of Florida urges all people onboard a boat to wear a life jacket. Learn about location accuracy and signal strength. Compulsory PFD Requirements for Oklahoma. Paddle Camp is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. Boating Safety Yes. Each state has a slight variation on the minimum age that must wear a lifejacket, and a few states have specific rules about when adults must also physically wear a lifejacket. And as our “vessels” are smaller, harder to see, and less able to avoid collision by steering clear of trouble, we actually need to be more aware of safety than power boaters. Who enforces life jacket laws? Free tool developed by the BoatUS Foundation. However, by following the links below to each state’s individual kayaking laws article, you’ll get a practical summary of information about how your state applies its boating laws to paddlers. All vessels are required to have onboard a wearable USCG-approved personal flotation device (PFD) for each person. The life jacket should not move more than 3 inches, no higher than the child’s ears. Partially this is due to the explosion in recreational kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding participation. All life jackets must be used in accordance with the age, weight, activity and use restrictions listed on the U.S. Coast Guard approval label. Federal law requires children under the age of 13 to wear a USCG-approved life jacket while underway in an open vessel on federally controlled waters. But let’s pause for a moment… Because though you may not have to wear your life jacket by law, you might just want to wear it. Free online state specific safety course. The life jacket must be the proper size to fit the person intended to wear it, and must be in serviceable condition. Missouri law requires boaters to have a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket on board and accessible for each occupant of the boat. California State Parks, State of California. So, we decided that instead of a project that started out as a way to help you find the kayaking life jacket laws by state, we’d create a monstrous resource to help you interpret all the state boating laws as they’re being applied to kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding. We offer a range of free and advanced courses. One U.S. Coast Guard–approved Type IV (throwable) flotation device must be on board vessels 16 feet or longer. Life Jackets and Personal Flotation Devices - State law requires each person on board to have a properly-fitting U.S. Coast Guard-approved serviceable life jacket. To make your day of boating safe and enjoyable, always carry enough life jackets for everyone on board and have everyone wear them. Those violating life jacket requirements in Texas state may be subject to a fine of $25 – $500. Under California law, every child under 13 years of age on a moving recreational vessel of any length must wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket in serviceable condition and of a type and size appropriate for the conditions and the activity. Nor did we understand all the rafting gear, paddling laws, and how-to paddle info we'd need to get started. Because the state life jacket laws are just the tip of the iceberg of kayak rules, and regulations that are coming to all 50 United States. When you read through the laws for your state and realize you can get the equivalent of a DUI, (BUI) Boating Under the Influence, for having a drink and getting on your paddle board…. We strongly suggest you follow the link to your individual state to read more specifics regarding your state’s kayaking laws. Minnesota law requires one U.S. Coast Guard approved, properly sized, and easily accessible life jacket for each person on the boat. DISCLAIMER: The information collected and provided in this article and on this website has been researched and written to the best of our knowledge about current boating laws, rules, and regulations as they pertain to the paddling sports. National statistics show that in 2014, 78% of fatal boating accident victims drowned. Can you get a DUI on a Kayak? This rule does not change or supersede the existing law in states which have life jacket laws, it only applies to states that have no laws. Do not buy a life jacket for your child to “grow into.” It's state law on recreational vessels underway, children under 13 years old must wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket unless they are below decks or in an enclosed cabin. Life Jacket Loaner Stations State law requires all vessels (including canoes, kayaks and stand up paddleboards) must carry at least one properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket (personal flotation device) for each person on board a vessel. While not required by law, we recommend that everyone wear a life jacket when on the water. Nebraska Life Jacket Requirements. Each state may have additional wear requirements, such as for water skiing, personal watercraft operation, white water boating activities and during certain cool-weather months. Our Life Jacket Loaner Program for kids can help you get the right life jacket for the day or weekend. Paddle Camp is a participant in various affiliate networks, including AvantLink, CJ, and others. In most states the laws read that there must be at least one U.S. Coast Guard Approved Type I,II, or III lifejacket (PFD) per person onboard the vessel (your kayak). Ask these fishermen on the Columbia river. NOTE: In states with no life jacket law for children, the U.S. Coast Guard regulations state that children under 13, while on boats that are underway, must wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket, sized and fitted appropriately. You’re being “towed” and now you need to take that life vest off the bow of your kayak, canoe or SUP and put it on “while being towed”. I am not an attorney and am not giving legal advice. Learn about the BoatUS Foundation employees. You've only seen one page. Additionally, PWC users must adhere to state regulations specific to personal watercraft operation: Wear an approved life jacket (PFD) at all times (operator and passengers). Kim Chandler with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife believes a new life-jacket-for-all law could save lives. Clean Boating In general, all life jackets, and this pertains to most states, must: An interesting use case that I kept coming across over and over again, was the “PFD must be worn while being towed” verbiage that many states had. In general, all the information on kayaking laws below pertains to kayaks, canoes and stand up paddle boards. The Commission does NOT recognize launch permits from other states. Sailboards and windsurfers are exempt from life jacket requirement, but are highly encouraged to wear one. Boat Length. Reliable equipment shipped directly to you. We love paddling! Also, boats longer than 16 feet must have a throwable PFD. Personal Watercraft (PWC) Life Jacket Law Any person on board a PWC is required to wear a Coast Guard-approved, life jacket at all times. Texas Boating Laws: Life Jackets. Michigan life jacket laws. Donate, © 2021, BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water, All Rights Reserved, 147 Old Solomons Island Road, Suite 513 Annapolis, Maryland 21401. Instead, they tend to cover their paddlecraft laws, rules and regulations within their state’s individual boating laws. Kayak Life Jacket Laws By State NOTE: In states with no life jacket law for children, the U.S. Coast Guard regulations state that children under 13, while on boats that are underway, must wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket, sized and fitted appropriately. Please help spread the word. BoatUS.com All vessels must be equipped with USCG–approved personal flotation devices (PFDs), also known as life jackets. Every person on board a personal watercraft must wear a USCG-approved life jacket. State Kayak, Canoe and Paddle Boarding Laws, Be worn by children according to that state’s minimum PFD age law. We are not legal professionals nor are we experts on boat laws. Register your course if you are a provider. 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