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Course Outline

South Carolina law requires the following with respect to PFDs.

  • All vessels must have at least one Type I, II, III, or V PFD that is USCG–approved, wearable, and of the proper size for each person on board or being towed. Sizing for PFDs is based on body weight and chest size.
  • South Carolina law requires all children under 12 years of age to wear a USCG–approved Type I, II, III, or V PFD while on board a vessel less than 16 feet long. The PFD must be fastened and of the proper size for the child.
  • In addition to the above requirements, vessels 16 feet in length or longer must have one USCG–approved throwable Type IV device on board.
  • One Type V PFD may be substituted for any other type if it is specifically approved by the USCG for the activity at hand. Type V PFDs may not be substituted on children weighing less than 90 lbs.
  • Each person riding on a PWC must wear a USCG–approved Type I, II, III, or V PFD.
  • Each person being towed behind a vessel must wear a USCG–approved Type I, II, III, or V PFD.
  • All PFDs must be in good and serviceable condition and must be readily accessible.
  • In certain situations, paddleboards must carry a USCG–approved PFD for each person on board.
Fitting a pfd to a child
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