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Course Outline

Missouri law requires the following with respect to PFDs.

  • All vessels 16 feet in length or longer must carry one USCG–approved wearable PFD for each person on board or being towed. Vessels less than 16 feet in length must carry one wearable or one USCG–approved throwable device for each person on board or being towed. Under federal law, however, a wearable PFD is required for each person on board regardless of vessel length.
  • In addition to the requirements above, vessels 16 feet in length or longer must have one USCG–approved throwable device on board and readily accessible.
  • Children under 7 years of age must wear a USCG–approved wearable PFD at all times while on board any vessel, unless the child is confined in a totally enclosed area of the vessel, such as the cabin area of a houseboat or day cruiser.
  • Everyone on board a PWC must wear a USCG–approved PFD.
  • PFDs may not be stowed in closed or locked compartments.
  • 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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