Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs)
All boats must carry at least one U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device/life for every person aboard. Such devices must be in serviceable condition. They must not have any rips, tears, or broken straps. All devices must also be kept readily available for use in an emergency situation. Personal flotation devices in a plastic bag or in a storage compartment are not readily available.
Persons being towed are considered on board the towing boat and there must be an approved Type I, II or III device aboard for each.
Each person on board a watercraft must wear a U.S. Coast Guard- approved life jacket at all times while on open deck or cockpit of vessels that are underway. Non-swimmers should always wear PFDs. All devices must be of a size if they are designed to be worn. Adult devices do not satisfy legal requirements for children just as children's devices do not meet flotation requirements for adults.
Inflatables are not approved for children nor high-impact sports such as water skiing or riding personal watercraft. Comfortable and lightweight, inflatable life jackets are more wearable and, therefore, expected to save more lives. Manufacturing standards were recently established for inflatables. The U.S. Coast Guard has approved several models that can be carried/worn in lieu of their counterpart. Boaters considering the purchase of inflatable life jackets should make sure the device has a Coast Guard approved number on the label and that instructions are complied with. Boaters relying on inflatables that are not approved, or, that are not being utilized in accordance with the label, will be considered in non-compliance by law enforcement officers.
Type I Off-shore life jacket
Intended for use off-shore, in open or coastal waters, or potentially rough seas where quick rescue may not be likely. It has greater flotation value than other PFD types and is designed to turn an unconscious person face-up. It is reversible and is available in two sizes, adult (90lbs. or more) and child (less then 90 lbs.).
Type II Near-shore buoyant vest
Designed for general boating activities and is suitable fir protected areas where rough water is not likely to be found or for activities where quick rescue is available. Not suitable for extended survival in rough or cold water.
Less buoyant than Type I. Will turn an unconscious person to a vertical or slightly face-up position. Available in several sizes.
Type III Flotation aid
Intended for general boating activities or specialized actives or specialized activities such as canoeing, skiing, or fishing due to the freedom of movement it allows. Suitable for protected areas where rough water is not likely to be found or where quick rescue is available.
Less buoyant than the Type 1. Designed to provide a stable face-up position in calm water for a conscious person floating with head tilted back. Not intended to turn or maintain an unconscious wearer face-up. Available in many sizes.
TYPE IV Throwable device
Intended to be thrown to a person who has fallen overboard. Designed to be grasped and held by user until rescued. Not suitable for rough or cold water survival. Of no use to an unconscious or exhausted person and it not recommended for non-swimmers or children.
A Type IV cushion type should never be worn on the back. A cushion worn on the back will turn a person over so their face is under water.
Provides enough buoyancy for users to hold their heads out of the water. May be either a cushion or ring buoy.
Each fire extinguisher is classified by Roman numeral and letter according to its size and type of fire it is meant to extinguish. The following is a listing of the fire types and their corresponding letter.
A. Fires of ordinary combustible materials.
B. Gasoline, oil and grease fires.
C. Electrical fires.
An approved extinguisher bears the label of a testing laboratory and will include either Coast Guard approval number or specify Marine Type USCG.
Boaters should be familiar with the correct use of their extinguisher.
All boats must show running lights between sunset and sunrise and during periods of restricted visibility.
Along with the required equipment, Duckworth recommends carrying the following:
- First Aid Kit
- Two Way Radio
- Distress Signals