Children Must Wear PFD’s

Children Must Wear PFD's

     RALEIGH, N.C. (Mar. 13, 2003) Children under age 13 must now wear a life vest while boating, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

     The new Coast Guard boating-safety rule automatically becomes state law, applying to all public waters of North Carolina. It requires any child under age 13 to wear a Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device, or PFD, if the boat is under way that is, not anchored or tied to shore. The only exceptions are for children who are below deck or inside an enclosed cabin.

     Previously, boating regulations required only that PFDs of the proper size and in good condition be aboard the boat and accessible to children. The new law does not apply to commercial vessels.

     The intent of the new law is to reduce the number of children who drown every year because they were not wearing life-jackets. National figures show that from 1995 to 2001, 210 children under age 13 died while boating 121 of them from drowning.

The official details of the Law

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