Life Jackets Save Lives – Wear It!

HY Family Photo 366KB_ 2014
Know the following about life jackets:

  1. Make sure you know the federal and state laws in addition to local ordinances. 
  2. Understand the different types of life jackets. The most appropriate one for you to wear depends on your location and water activity.
  3. Learn how to properly fit life jackets for you and your family.
  4. Know where to find an extra life jacket. There are free loaner stations throughout the state.
  5. Learn about the Wear It campaign, and pledge to always wear your life jacket while on the water.
  1. Life Jacket Laws
  2. Types of Life Jackets
  3. Fitting a Life Jacket
  4. Life Jacket Loaner Stations

State law requires all vessels (including canoes, kayaks and stand up paddle boards) must carry at least one properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket (Personal Flotation Device) for each person on board a vessel.

Additional state laws:
  • Children 12 years old and younger must wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket at all times when underway in a vessel less than 19 feet in length, unless in a fully enclosed area. 
  • Each person on board a personal watercraft (PWC) and anyone being towed behind a boat must wear an appropriate U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.  
  • A U.S. Coast Guard-approved Type IV (throwable) flotation device must be on board vessels 16 feet or longer. Canoes and kayaks are exempt from this requirement. 
Contact your local police or sheriff's department or home owner's association to find out if there's additional ordinances. If you're on federal waterways, be sure to know the life jacket laws that may apply.