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Course Outline

Iowa law requires the following with respect to PFDs.

  • All vessels must have at least one USCG–approved wearable Type I, II, III, or V 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, except canoes or kayaks.
  • While underway on a recreational vessel on any Iowa waters, a child under 13 years old must wear a USCG–approved PFD unless the child is below deck or in an enclosed cabin.
  • Each person being towed behind a vessel on water skis, a surfboard, or similar device must wear a USCG–approved Type I, II, III, or V PFD. Inflatable PFDs are not approved for persons being towed.
  • Each person on board a PWC must wear a USCG–approved Type I, II, III, or V PFD. Inflatable PFDs are not approved for use on PWC.
  • Windsurfers are not required to wear a PFD.
  • Inflatable PFDs are not approved for use by persons under the age of 16.
  • All PFDs must be readily accessible and of the proper size for the intended wearer. Sizing for PFDs is based on body weight and chest size.
  • All PFDs must be in good and serviceable condition.
Fitting a pfd to a child
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  • Topic 6 of 19
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