Specific PFD Requirements
- All vessels must have at least one USCG-approved Type I, II, or III life jacket for each person on board.
- All life jackets must be in good and serviceable condition and readily accessible. The life jackets must be of the proper size for the intended wearer. Sizing for life jackets is based on body weight and chest size.
- In addition to the above requirements for life jackets, one USCG–approved Type IV (throwable) PFD must be on board vessels 16 feet or longer, except canoes and kayaks.
- Any child under 13 years old must wear a USCG–approved life jacket at all times while on the deck of a vessel or in an open vessel.
- Any child 12 years old or under must wear a USCG–approved Type I, II, or III life jacket when being towed behind a vessel. All other persons being towed behind a vessel also should wear a USCG–approved life jacket. Inflatable life jackets are not recommended for use by persons being towed behind a vessel.
- Each person on board a personal watercraft should wear a USCG–approved life jacket. Inflatable life jackets are not recommended for use by persons on board a PWC.
- A Type V USCG–approved life jacket may be substituted for a Type I, II, or III if the Type V jacket is approved for the activity for which the life jacket is being used.