Specific PFD Requirements
- All vessels must carry at least one USCG–approved wearable Type I, II, III, or V PFD for each person on board. If the USCG label requires it to be worn in order to be counted as having a PFD on board, then it must be worn.
- In addition to the requirement for PFDs, all vessels—except PWC, kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, and rubber rafts—must carry at least one USCG–approved throwable Type IV device.
- All life jackets and other 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.
- Children 12 years old and younger must wear a Type I, II, or III USCG–approved PFD while underway, unless they are below deck or in an enclosed cabin.
- Each person boating on a river or in a boat race, and each person on board an ice sailboat, PWC, kayak, canoe, paddleboard, or rubber raft must wear a USCG–approved Type I, II, III, or V PFD.
- Each person using a wind sailboard, inner tube, air mattress, float tube, or other inflatable device must wear a flotation assist device (such as a wetsuit) or a USCG–approved Type I, II, III, or V PFD.
- Each person being towed behind a vessel–on skis or any floating object—must wear a USCG–approved Type I, II, or III PFD.