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SECURITY LEVELS

Personal Floatation Devices

Personal Floatation Devices Save Lives

PFD Requirements

 

  • All vessels must carry one Type I, II, III, or V USCG-approved PFD for each person on board.
  • All PFDs must be in good and serviceable condition, and legibly marked showing the USCG approval number. The PFDs must be of the proper size for the intended wearer. Sizing for PFDs 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 while on any vessel less than 26 feet in length that is underway upon Florida waters.
  • Each person on board a PWC, and anyone being towed behind a vessel, must wear a a USCG-approved PFD.  Inflatable PFDs are not to be worn on PWCs or while water-skiing. 

 

PFD Descriptions

TYPE I: Offshore Life Jackets

These vests are geared for rough or remote waters where rescue may take awhile. They provide the most buoyancy, are excellent for flotation, and will turn most unconscious persons face up in the water.

TYPE II: Near-Shore Vests

These vests are good for calm waters when quick assistance or rescue is likely. Type II vests will turn some unconscious wearers face up in the water, but the turning is not as pronounced as with a Type I.

TYPE III: Flotation Aids

These vests or full-sleeved jackets are good for calm waters when quick assistance or rescue is likely. They are not recommended for rough waters since they will not turn most unconscious persons face up. Type III PFDs are used for water sports such as water-skiing. Some Type III PFDs are designed to inflate when you enter the water.

TYPE IV: Throwable Devices/Not Wearable

These cushions and ring buoys are designed to be thrown to someone in trouble. Since a Type IV PFD is not designed to be worn, it is neither for rough waters nor for persons who are unable to hold onto it.

TYPE V: Special-Use Devices

These vests, deck suits, hybrid PFDs, and others are designed for specific activities such as windsurfing, kayaking, or water-skiing. Some Type V PFDs are designed to inflate when you enter the water. To be acceptable, Type V PFDs must be worn and used in accordance with their label.