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Course Outline

South Dakota law requires the following with respect to PFDs.

  • All vessels must have at least one USCG–approved Type I, II, III, or V PFD for each person on board or being towed. Inflatable PFDs are not approved for persons being towed.
  • All vessels 16 feet or longer, except canoes and kayaks, also must carry on board one USCG–approved throwable Type IV device.
  • All children under seven years of age must wear a PFD on any vessel operating at greater than “slow, no wake speed” unless they are below deck or in an enclosed cabin. Inflatable PFDs are not approved for children under 16 years of age.
  • A PWC may not be operated unless each person on board is wearing a USCG–approved Type I, II, III, or V PFD. Inflatable PFDs are not approved for use on PWC.
  • A Type V hybrid PFD is acceptable only if it is worn at all times except when the person is below deck or in an enclosed cabin.
  • 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.
Fitting a pfd to a child
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  • Topic 6 of 19
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