Boating Safety: Life Jackets

Boating Safety: Life Jackets

Boating safety includes wearing life jackets. Life jackets are Important BEFORE they’re needed. It would make sense to say that life jackets can save lives, but who is responsible for making sure adult passengers on small vessels are protected in case of an accident that sends them overboard?

It could be argued that you can’t make your adult passengers wear life jackets, you just need to make PFDs available. However, who would be held responsible if something were to happen that caused the boat to capsize or someone to fall into the water? Who would be held liable?

In 1996, capsizing incidents and related deaths caused the Coast Guard to consider these questions.

As a result, they included amendments to the Small Passenger Vessel regulations that addressed wearing life jackets.

These boating safety amendments make it the responsibility of the master (captain) of the boat to require passengers to put on life jackets in the event of possible hazardous conditions, including but not limited to:

  1. When transiting hazardous bars or inlets;
  2. During severe …

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