Video Safe Boating Practices


Keys to Safe Boating

  • Boating Knowledge
  • Boating with Wisdom
  • Boating with Preparedness
  • Boating with Experience
  • Boating with Discretion (source: National Safe Boating Council)

Always wear a lifejacket! Most people who drown in a boating accident could swim! Never rely on your ability to swim to keep you safe in a boating-related emergency! WEAR YOUR USCG-approved FLOTATION DEVICE!

Water Wings or floaties are not to be used as PFD's because they:

  1. Don't keep your head out of the water
  2. Easily deflate
  3. Are not USCG approved

Life Jackets and Boating (Personal Flotation Devices) All vessels must be equipped with U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets called Personal Flotation Devices (PFD's). The quantity and type depends on the length of the vessel and the number of people on board and/or being towed. Each PFD must be in good condition, be the proper size for the intended wearer and be readily accessible. Vessel operators should ask everyone on board the vessel to wear a PFD while on the water. (source: How to Boat Smart, Florida Boating Safety Course)

BOATER's TIP! An emergency situation (rough water, rapid onset of bad weather, or dangerous boating traffic) can occur suddenly- leaving little time to put on life jackets. Life jackets are very difficult to put on once you are in the water! Be a smart boater and have everyone on board your vessel wear their life jacket at all times! (source: How to Boat Smart, Florida Boating Safety Course)

PFD Requirements (source: How to Boat Smart, Florida Boating Safety Course)

  • All vessels must carry one Type I, II, III or V USCG-approved PFD for each person on board.
  • All PFD's must be in good and serviceable condition and legibly marked showing the USCG approval number. The PFD'd must be of the proper size for the intended wearer. Sizing for PFD's is based on body weight and chest size
  • In addition to the above requirements, vessels 16 feet in length or longer must have one Type IV USCG-approved PFD on board and immediately available.  
  • Children under 6 years of age must WEAR a USCG-approved Type I, II, or III PFD at all times on any vessel less than 26 feed in length that is underway upon Florida waters.
  • Each person on board a Personal Water Craft, and anyone being towed behind a vessel, must WEAR a USCG-approved PFD. Inflatable PFD's are not to be worn on Personal Water Craft or while water-skiing.

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