Life Jackets Save Lives – Wear It!

Help us share the life-saving message about always wearing a life jacket on the water.

Get involved and save lives

  • Get involved – there is POWER in NUMBERS. Support local boating safety education efforts and lead by example.
  • Be an example for others – always wear a life jacket and boat responsibly, and encourage others to do the same! Take the pledge!
  • Make an impact on #safeboating. Share photos on social media of you, your family or friends in life jackets. Use hashtag #WearItWA and #WearItOut
  • Contact us for resources and outreach ideas.

"Wear It" is a program of the Washington State Parks Boating Program in partnership with the National Safe Boating Council.

WearIt-Partner_Washington State Parks
  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 paddleboards) 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.