RALEIGH, N.C. (Mar. 13, 2003) Children under age 13 must
now wear a life vest while boating, according to the U.S.
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
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
The intent of the new law is to reduce the number of children
who drown every year because they were not wearing lifejackets.
National figures show that from 1995 to 2001, 210 children
under age 13 died while boating 121 of them from drowning.
official details of the Law
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