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Oregon law requires the following with respect to life jackets.

  • All boats must carry one USCG–approved wearable life jacket for each person on board or being towed.
  • In addition to the above requirements, boats 16 feet in length or longer must have one USCG–approved throwable device on board and immediately accessible.
  • A specialized wearable life jacket may be carried instead of any required life jacket, but not on PWC, and only if the wearable life jacket is approved for the activity for which the boat is being used. Most must be worn to meet the carriage requirements.
  • A child 12 years old and younger must wear a USCG–approved life jacket at all times while on an open deck or cockpit of a boat that is underway or when the child is being towed. Inflatable life jackets are not approved for children.
  • Each person on board a PWC must wear a USCG–approved life jacket. Inflatable life jackets are not approved for a person to wear on a PWC.
  • All persons boating on sections of a river rated as Class III or higher must wear a properly fitted, USCG–approved life jacket intended for use on whitewater rivers.
  • USCG–approved inflatable life jackets are authorized for use on recreational boats only by persons at least 16 years of age.
  • All life jackets must be in good and serviceable condition and must be readily accessible. The wearable life jackets must be of the proper size for the intended wearer. Sizing for life jackets is based on body weight and chest size.
Person fitting a PFD on a child
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