Specific PFD Requirements
Maryland 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. High impact-rated PFDs are recommended.
- In addition to the requirement for PFDs, one throwable Type IV USCG–approved device must be on board vessels 16 feet or longer.
- Children under 13 years of age must wear a USCG–approved PFD while underway on a recreational vessel under 21 feet in length, unless the vessel is moored or anchored or the child is below deck or in an enclosed cabin.
- There are additional requirements for PFDs for children under 4 years of age.
- Each person being towed behind a vessel on water skis, a surfboard, or similar device must wear a USCG–approved PFD. High-impact rated PFDs are recommended.
- All persons on board a personal watercraft (PWC) or jetpack vessels must wear a USCG–approved Type I, II, III, or V PFD.
- Inflatable PFDs must be worn in accordance with the label. Make sure to read the manual attached for more detailed wear instructions.
- All PFDs must be in good and serviceable condition, readily accessible, and of the proper size for the intended wearer. Sizing for PFDs is based on body weight and chest size.