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Course Outline

Illinois law requires the following with respect to PFDs.

  • All vessels must have at least one USCG–approved wearable PFD for each person on board or being towed. All vessels 16 feet or longer, except canoes and kayaks, also must carry one USCG–approved throwable device.
  • All children under the age of 13 must wear a USCG–approved PFD on vessels less than 26 feet in length when underway unless they are below decks in an enclosed cabin or on a vessel operating on private property.
  • A PWC or a specialty prop-craft may not be operated unless each person on board is wearing a USCG–approved PFD. (Inflatable PFDs are not approved for PWC or prop-craft use.)
  • All PFDs must be in good and serviceable condition and 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.
Person fitting a PFD on a child
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