On-screen text: BOATING
Speaker 1: Who’s required to wear a life jacket?
Speaker 2: If you’re under the age of 13, you need to wear a life jacket.
Speaker 1: In New Hampshire, if you’re being towed: water-skiing or tubing, or on a float, do you have to wear a life jacket?
Speaker 2: Yes, you do. Yes. If you’re being towed on a tube, if you’re water-skiing.
Speaker 1: How many life jackets need to be in a boat?
Speaker 2: Any vessel that’s used for transportation—that would include a motorboat, but that also includes kayaks, canoes, paddleboards—you need to have a wearable life jacket for each person in the boat, life jackets of the right size and fit for everybody on the boat. If you have two people on the boat and one’s an adult, one’s a child, and all you have is adult life jackets, that doesn’t meet the requirement for having wearable life jackets on your boat.
The requirement for these life jackets—they have to be Coast Guard–approved. They need to be in serviceable condition, so they can’t have any rips or tears or any other defects to the life jacket.
They have to be readily accessible, which for life jackets, that means within arm’s reach. They can’t be in a locked compartment or a closed compartment. They can’t be under one of those big seats, where you have to move the seat to get the life jackets. They need to be something where you can just reach for them and put them on in case something goes wrong in a boat. And things go wrong in boats very quickly, so you don’t have time to just take your time and grab a life jacket. That’s why “readily accessible” is so important.