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Course Outline

Hawaii law requires the following with respect to PFDs.

  • All vessels, except Hawaiian design racing canoes, racing shells, rowing sculls, and racing kayaks, must have at least one USCG–approved life jacket (wearable PFD) 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.
  • Children under 13 years of age must wear a properly fitting, USCG–approved life jacket at all times while underway on a vessel or when the vessel is moored or anchored in a non-designated offshore mooring area, unless the child is below deck or in an enclosed cabin.
  • Each person on board a PWC/thrill craft must wear a properly fitting, USCG–approved PFD.
  • Each person being towed behind a vessel must wear a properly fitting, USCG–approved PFD. Inflatable PFDs are not approved for persons who are being towed or participating in other high-impact sports.
  • All vessels in small boat harbors that have people living on board must have at least one USCG–approved PFD for each adult on board. In addition, one wearable USCG–approved life jacket suitable for a child must be provided for each child living on board the vessel.
  • All PFDs must be in good and serviceable condition and must be readily accessible. Life jackets must be of the proper size for the intended wearer. Sizing for life jackets is based on body weight and chest size.
Fitting a pfd to a child
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