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do you require life jackets too be worn on your boat

mikie22

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do you require life jackets too be worn on your boat
 

captras

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Children.... absolutely... weak swimmers.. yes! Other than that I do not. We are on a lake and don't go out in rough waters.
 

Zechbruder

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Friends who got me into jetboating years ago have a 18ft Sea Doo always insisted jackets to be worn at all times boat was under way. When I bought a 16ft Sea Doo, my wife and I practiced the same unless it was absolutely calm and no other boats were nearby. Now that we have a 21ft Yamaha, we will probably practice the same. I have only dealer demo'd the 21ft and Lake Conroe was pretty choppy that day but was much more stable than what I remember of our 16ft. Which was pretty jumpy, but a fun boat if what you were after was spray and jumps.
 

anmut

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It's the law in WI that 13 and under wear them underway. However the adults never do, but our inland boating is short between stops. I did witness a drowning at the boat launch a few years ago (drunk girl dived in randomly, never surfaced) that made me rethink that policy a bit, but we haven't implemented anything new.
 

IvanRZB

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Children 100%. I tell adults it's up to them depending on how confident they feel treading water. I do wear one when I go out alone.
 

Murf'n'surf

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It's amusing to me that a lot of people have "inland" disclaimers on PFD's. Water is water, freshwater fills your lungs the same as saltwater. I do understand the general rule of thumb that you are not going to see 8' waves on the river but be cognizant of hull breaches and more likely being hit by another boat. Shit happens fast....I have seen it...be prepared is all I am saying.
 

Beachbummer

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I see the warning as more related to likely time to recovery...Will you be spending more than 30 minutes in the water while waiting for rescue. Inland or near shore probably not, but way way out...you may be spending some time waiting and more buoyancy may help with a longer wait.

I agree, it takes about 3-5 minutes underwater before you are a goner, whether it's in a bucket, 4ft of water or 4000ft of water.
 

Beachbummer

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Story Time...

I know of a person (acquaintance of my dad) who had a boat sink in the early evening and survived by virtue of the life jacket, all night at sea, traveled about 15 miles overnight with the current and eventually was washed ashore. walked out exhausted and passed out on the beach, and was found later in the morning by some fisherman and taken to the hospital for a full recovery.

He says the overnight waves were so bothersome he used his shoe as a breathing mask so he could breathe while water got splashed to his face.

The boat was new to him, (but older) and engine gave up in choppy seas. He threw the anchor (good) but tied to the stern (bad) and the boat sank within a few minutes. He realized it was looking dire before it sank and he put on his life vest. I'm certain if he had not worn his life vest he would have died.
 

Murf'n'surf

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I see the warning as more related to likely time to recovery...Will you be spending more than 30 minutes in the water while waiting for rescue. Inland or near shore probably not, but way way out...you may be spending some time waiting and more buoyancy may help with a longer wait.

I agree, it takes about 3-5 minutes underwater before you are a goner, whether it's in a bucket, 4ft of water or 4000ft of water.
You are assuming that you are conscious when entering the water.
 

biglar155

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The only time I allow life jackets be removed is when we are swimming at anchor. Otherwise if you want to come with us, you'll be wearing it.

It's not about making friends. It's about the fact that I'm responsible for the safety of my vessel and passengers. I take that responsibility very seriously. If you go over the side - however it may have happened - it becomes MY problem.

The ability to swim is irrelevant. Even an Olympic swimmer is going to be in trouble if they are injured or unconscious.

Boats are fun toys, but you have to have to take on an underlying responsibility when you go boating. You have to maintain personal minimums of safety and be willing and able to deal with the consequences if the worst should happen.

It doesn't make it any less fun. It does reduce the risk of a VERY bad day.
 

Beachbummer

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Everyone is free to chose their own risk tolerances, but to me, for able adults, the certain discomfort of wearing one is not worth the potential protection from an event that is so unlikely to occur, so I do not wear one.
 

Dixie Highway

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I follow the local laws. In IL and WI where we mainly boat they mirror the federal regulation of 13 and under. I understand and will not disparage those that require all passengers to wear them at all times, however.
 

marcham

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I grew up not wearing them, even as a child. Nowadays, we are all wearing them 99% of the time. If I'm the first to put it on, then there's no discussion/arguments with the kids. I wear an automatic inflatable which is very comfortable.

I know of at least one person that died in a boating accident that would have been non fatal if he had been wearing a pfd.

Working in search and rescue, I've seen many people wait too long to put there's on. If the boat starts to sink suddenly, most people's reaction will be to try and save the boat. As soon as a wave hits the gunwale the rest goes down quickly and then it might be too late to get to the pfds that are in the bottom of the locker. In those cases, the kids are often faring better than the adults. No kid should ever have to see their parents drown.

As mentioned above, adults who boat often are able to assess the risks, understand and accept them, kids are not. Non boaters who visit I usually encourage them to wear as they don't know what the risks are.

There is less risk of death in boating (5.3 per 100000 registered boat) than cars (14.7 per 100000 registered vehicle) but the risk is still there.

To each his own. Freedom after all is a key element of boating.
 
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