Life jackets save lives 

Wearing a life jacket while boating is as important as wearing a seat belt while driving in a car or wearing a helmet while riding your bike or motorcycle. According to the U.S. Coast Guard Statistics, drowning was the leading cause of death in nearly 3/4 of boating related fatalities and 84% of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets.

Although the state requires children to wear a life jacket, adults are encouraged to wear one. Adults should set a good example for children by wearing their life jackets.

Remember: life jacket wear doesn't only apply to children – anyone can drown regardless of how old they are and if they consider themselves to be a strong swimmer.

Life jackets float - you don't! Watch this video for information on why it is important to wear a life jacket.

  1. Types of Life Jackets
  2. Choosing the Right Life Jacket
  3. Life Jacket Law

Type 1 life jacketType I - Offshore

  • Intended for those going out in open water where quick rescues may be unlikely
  • Most buoyant; can turn someone who is unconscious face-up.

Type 2 life jacket Type II - Near-shore 

  • Intended for calm, inland water where there is a good chance for quick rescue.


Type 3 life jacket

Type III - Floatation aids

  • Intended for calm, inland water where there is a good chance of fast rescue.
  • Generally will not turn an unconscious user face up.
  • Activities: fishing, hunting canoeing, kayaking, water skiing, wakeboarding and other inland water tow sports.

Type 4 life jacket throwable deviceType IV - Throwable device 

  • Intended to be thrown to someone overboard.
  • Of little use to unconscious or exhausted swimmers.
  • Not recommended for children or nonswimmers.

Type 5 life jacket

Type III & V - Inflatable device

  • Hydrostatic (inflates automatically upon immersion or when manually activated).
  • Manual (only inlfates when manually activated).
  • Belt Pack (worn on our waist. Only inflates when manually activated; must be placed over head once activated.
  • Inflatable life jackets requires maintenance and replacing the CO2 Type 3 life jacket beltcartridge after each use. Not allowed for use or wear by children under 16 years of age; some inflatable life jackets are not approved for certain activities. Always check the label for directions and requirements.