Law requires PFDs for all
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.