Accoridng to Washington’s life jacket regulations, all boats in Washington (including human-powered or non-motorized craft, such as kayaks and inflatable rafts) are required to carry a Coast Guard-approved, wearable life jacket for each person aboard the boat. Additionally, boats greater than 16 feet in length must also carry a readily accessible, Coast Guard-approved throwable device (i.e. a Type IV PFD).
Life Jacket Laws for Children
In Washington, boat passengers 12 years of age and under are required to wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket while aboard any boat that is less than 19 feet in length (unless the child is in a fully enclosed area, such as a cabin).
Requirements for Personal Watercraft (PWC)
Washington’s life jacket laws require any person aboard a PWC to wear a Coast Guard-approved, Type I, II or III life jacket.
Requirements for Towed Sports
Any person being towed by a boat is required to wear a Coast Guard-approved Type I, II or III life jacket.
For more information on boating rules and regulations that apply within the state of Washington, visit the Washington State Parks Boating Program website. Be sure that you’re always familiar with the boating regulations that apply on the water ways where you’ll be boating.