Law re­quires PFDs for all

Walker County Messenger - - News -

Boat­ing sea­son is here and your lo­cal game war­dens are on pa­trol check­ing for safety items needed to en­joy the public wa­ters of Ge­or­gia. Al­ready, there have been sev­eral deaths across the state. These deaths have oc­curred while boat­ing on lakes, rivers, and streams. Please re­mem­ber to check for the re­quired safety items needed when par­tic­i­pat­ing in these ac­tiv­i­ties.

One of the most im­por­tant items you need to have on board your ves­sel is a per­sonal flota­tion de­vice (PFD). Be­low is in­for­ma­tion that can be found on the Ge­or­gia De­part­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources web page. Again, please re­mem­ber, when pre­par­ing to go out on a boat or a PWC, the op­er­a­tor must check that the legally re­quired equip­ment is on­board.

•All boats must have at least one Type I, II, III or V per­sonal flota­tion de­vice that is U. S. Coast Guard ap­proved, wear­able and of the proper size for each per­son on­board. Siz­ing for PFDs is based on body weight and chest size. Type V PFDs are ac­cept­able only when worn and se­curely fas­tened. NOTE: Mo­tor­ized boats, john boats, ca­noes, kayaks, swim­ming pool floats, etc. are all con­sid­ered by law to be ves­sels / boats when used to travel public wa­ters. You must have the ap­pro­pri­ate PFD’s.

•As of May 15, 2013, Ge­or­gia law re­quires all chil­dren un­der 13 years of age to wear a U. S. Coast Guard ap­proved PFD while on­board any mov­ing boat. This law does not ap­ply when the child is in a fully en­closed cabin.

•One Type IV (throw­able de­vice) U. S. Coast Guard ap­proved PFD must be on­board all boats 16 feet or more in length, ex­cept for ca­noes and kayaks. Must be im­me­di­ately ac­ces­si­ble to throw out to some­one quickly.

•One Type V may be sub­sti­tuted for any other type if it is specif­i­cally ap­proved by the U. S. Coast Guard for the ac­tiv­ity at hand. Type V PFDs may not be sub­sti­tuted on chil­dren weigh­ing less than 90 lbs.

•Each per­son rid­ing on a PWC must wear a U. S. Coast Guard ap­proved Type I, II, III or V per­sonal flota­tion de­vice. In­flat­able Type V PFDs are not ap­proved for use on PWC.

•All PFDs must be in good and ser­vice­able con­di­tion and must be read­ily ac­ces­si­ble.

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