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

  • All boats must carry one U.S. Coast Guard–approved wearable Type I, II, III, or V life jacket for each person on board or being towed.
  • All life jackets must be in good and serviceable condition and must be readily accessible. The life jacket must be of the proper size for the intended wearer and be approved for the particular boating activity in which he or she is participating. Sizing for life jackets is based on body weight and chest size.
  • In addition to the above requirements, boats 16 feet in length or longer must have one U.S. Coast Guard–approved throwable Type IV PFD on board and must be immediately accessible.
  • A wearable Type V life jacket may be carried instead of any required life jacket, but not on personal watercraft (PWC), and only if the wearable Type V is approved for the activity for which the boat is being used. Most wearable 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 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 U.S. Coast Guard–approved Type I, II, or III life jacket. Inflatable life jackets are not approved for persons on PWC.
  • All persons boating on sections of a river rated as Class III or higher MUST wear a properly fitted, USCG–approved wearable Type I, II, III, or V life jacket.
  • USCG–approved inflatable wearable life jackets are authorized for use on recreational boats 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.