Manassas, VA (May 16, 2016) – Boating safety advocates across the United States and Canada have teamed up to promote safe and responsible boating, including consistent life jacket wear during recreational water activities, during National Safe Boating Week to be held from May 21-27, 2016.
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Life Jackets Required in Rhode Island
According to the Handbook of Rhode Island Boating Laws and Responsibilities, you are required to have the following PFD’s aboard:
Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs)
All vessels must have at least one U.S. Coast Guard–approved Type I, II, or III life jacket for each person on board.
In addition to the above requirement, one U.S. Coast Guard–approved Type IV PFD must be on board vessels 16 feet or longer.
Children under 13 years of age must wear a U.S. Coast Guard–approved PFD (life jacket) while underway in a recreational vessel less than 65 feet in length unless below deck or in an enclosed cabin.
Each person being towed behind a vessel on water skis, a surfboard, or other device must wear a U.S. Coast Guard–approved life jacket.
Each person riding on a PWC must wear a U.S. Coast Guard–approved Type I, II, or III life jacket.
A Type V life jacket may be substituted for any other type if it is specifically approved by the U.S. Coast Guard for the activity at hand.
Besides being USCG–approved, all PFDs must be:
• In good and serviceable condition.
• Readily accessible, which means you are able to put the PFD on quickly in an emergency.
• Of the proper size for the intended wearer. Sizing for wearable PFDs (life jackets) is based on body weight and chest size.
Your life jacket won’t work if you don’t wear it. Protect yourself and others—“wear your life jacket.”
In addition to identifying the required PFD’s, this link will also provide you with all other safety equipment you are required to carry based on your vessel size. The page contains helpful pictures that clearly identify the different types of PFD’s mentioned above:
Does your Rhode Island boat registration need renewing?
Need to take a boating safety course? According to DEM, you need education if you will be operating a PWC or if you were born on or after Jan. 1, 1986, and will be operating a motorized vessel over 10 hp in Rhode Island. Information on those requirements and how to prepare for and take the test, visit:
Our friends at Confident Captain / Ocean Pros also offer a 2-day course that is ideal for the eager 10-16 year old in your family. It's called Youth Powerboat Camp and you can learn more by visiting their page here:
And for a comprehensive listing of Recreational Boater Training by seasoned professionals:
If you’re already a seasoned boater and would like to take your learning further by obtaining a USCG License or other advanced certifications, visit our friends at Confident Captain:
So have fun on the water, and be safe while doing it!