The personal flotation device (PFD) is one of the most important items required on any boat. Boaters must carry one wearable PFD for each person on board. If the boat is more than 16 feet in length, an additional throwable device is required. As of July 1, 2003 children 12 years of age and younger are required to wear a PFD whenever their vessel is on the water, except when they are in an enclosed cabin or below deck.
All required PFDs must be U.S. Coast Guard-approved, readily available to passengers and in good condition. Each must be the proper size to fit the person for whom they are intended.
The U.S. Coast Guard approves five different types of PFDs.
View Life Vest Information and Illustrations.
Certain Type I pfd's have been identified by the US Coast Guard as potentially not being assembled correctly during production and could create a hazard when attempting to don them during an emergency. This is not a recall, but an alert. More details can be found here.