To meet U.S. Coast Guard requirements, a boat must have a Coast Guard-approved type I, II, III, or V (wearable) life jacket for each person aboard. Boats longer than 15 feet must have at least one Type IV (throwable) device as well.
“Boaters need to be responsible for the safety of themselves, their passengers and other boaters,” said Frank Jennings Jr., recreational boating safety program manager for the Ninth Coast Guard District. “That means not only having the proper number of life jackets onboard, but wearing them whenever underway. It is much more difficult to find and don a life jacket during an emergency. Boaters need to be prepared ahead of time.”
Owners/operators of vessels found to be in violation of the federal regulations that pertains to recreational boating safety may be assessed a civil penalty up to $8,000 per violation.