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Oregon law requires the following with respect to personal flotation devices (life jackets):

  • All vessels must carry one U.S. Coast Guard–approved Type I, II, III, or V PFD for each person on board or being towed.
  • All PFDs must be in good and serviceable condition and must be 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.
  • In addition to the above requirements, vessels 16 feet in length or longer must have one U.S. Coast Guard–approved Type IV PFD on board and must be immediately accessible.
  • A Type V PFD may be carried instead of any required PFD, but not on personal watercraft, and only if the Type V is approved for the activity for which the boat is being used. Most Type Vs must be worn to meet the carriage requirements.
  • A child 12 years old and younger must wear a U.S. Coast Guard–approved PFD at all times while on an open deck or cockpit of a vessel that is underway or when the child is being towed. Inflatable PFDs are not approved for children.
  • Each person on board a personal watercraft (PWC) must wear a U.S. Coast Guard–approved Type I, II, or III PFD. Inflatable PFDs are not approved for persons on PWCs.
  • As of January 1, 2010, all persons boating on sections of a river rated as Class III or higher MUST wear a properly fitted, USCG–approved Type I, II, III, or V PFD.
  • USCG–approved inflatable PFDs are authorized for use on recreational vessels only by persons at least 16 years of age.
  • Discolored or torn PFDs should be discarded and replaced.

Read and follow the label restrictions on all PFDs.