Understanding U.S. Federal Law on Wearing PFDs

What age group is required to wear a USCG-approved PFD at all times while underway on the open deck of any vessel?

According to U.S. federal law, a person under the age of 13 must wear a USCG-approved PFD at all times while underway on the open deck of any vessel. What is the significance of this requirement?

Age Requirement for Wearing PFDs

Under U.S. federal law, individuals under the age of 13 are mandated to wear a USCG-approved PFD when on the open deck of any vessel while the vessel is in motion. This regulation is crucial for ensuring the safety of young children during boating activities.

The requirement for children under 13 to wear a USCG-approved PFD is aimed at reducing the risk of accidents and potential drowning incidents. Children in this age group may lack the necessary swimming skills or strength to stay afloat in case of an emergency situation. By wearing a PFD, they have a higher chance of remaining buoyant and being rescued in such scenarios.

A Personal Flotation Device (PFD) is a vital piece of safety equipment designed to keep individuals afloat in the water. The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) ensures that approved PFDs comply with stringent safety standards to provide adequate buoyancy and visibility for wearers.

While the law specifically targets children under 13, it is advisable for all individuals on board to wear a USCG-approved PFD for optimal safety while boating. Regardless of age, wearing a PFD can significantly enhance the chances of survival in water-related emergencies.

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