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Course Outline

Colorado law requires the following with respect to PFDs (life jackets).

  • All vessels must have at least one USCG–approved Type I, II, or III PFD (life jacket) for each person on board.
  • In addition to the above requirement, one USCG–approved throwable Type IV device must be on board vessels 16 feet or longer.
  • Each child under 13 years of age must wear a USCG–approved PFD while on board any vessel that has entered the water unless the child is below deck or in an enclosed cabin.
  • Each person being towed behind a vessel on water skis, an aquaplane, or similar device must wear a properly fitting flotation device.
  • All persons on board a PWC must wear a USCG–approved Type I, II, or III PFD.
  • Sailboarders may wear a neoprene wetsuit capable of providing flotation instead of a PFD.
  • River-running vessels must have a USCG–approved Type I, II, III, or V Whitewater River Running Buoyant Vest for each person on board. A Type IV device is not required for these vessels.
  • All PFDs must be in good and serviceable condition and be readily accessible. The PFDs must be of the proper size for the intended wearer. Sizing for PFDs is based on body weight and chest size.
  • Inflatable PFDs may be used only by persons 16 years old or older.

Person fitting a PFD on a child
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