Specific PFD Requirements
- All vessels must have at least one Type I, II, III, or V personal flotation device (life jacket) that is U.S. Coast Guard–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 U.S. Coast Guard–approved Type I, II, III, or V PFD while on board a vessel less than 16 feet long. The life jacket 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 Type IV (throwable) U.S. Coast Guard–approved PFD on board.
- One Type V PFD may be substituted for any other type if it is specifically approved by the U.S. Coast Guard 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 U.S. Coast Guard–approved Type I, II, III, or V personal flotation device.
- Each person being towed behind a vessel must wear a U.S. Coast Guard–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.