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Home Maritime Safety Commercial Vessels Personal Flotation Devices – PFD

Life Jackets (personal flotation devices or PFDs) shall be distributed prior to departure and shall be worn by all passengers while the vessel is underway.

The law requires that all vessels, especially commercial passenger and pleasure crafts, be equipped with one approved life jacket for each persons on board, from the age of one year and above. You should choose this equipment carefully, bearing in mind the type of activities it is intended for; choose one that fits the wearer well.

  • Take good care of your life jacket. It should not be used to kneel on or as a bumper for your boat. Check its buoyancy regularly by wading out until the water is waist deep, bend your knees and see how well you float.
  • You should allow your floatation device to dry in the open air and not close to a direct heat source. It should be kept in a dry and well ventilated place with easy access.
  • Clean your flotation device with mild soap or running water. Strong detergents or gasoline should not be used. Do not dry-clean; follow the manufacturer’s instructions at all times.
  • Children should be encouraged to wear their lifejacket or PFD at all times. They should learn how to put them on and try them out in the water. Some life jackets or personal floatation devices are designed especially for children. Select the one that best suits your child’s size and weight.
  • Because of the way their body weight is distributed, children do not float well in a face up position and tend to panic easily; therefore a PFD which keeps the child in as upright a position as possible is best.

Remember that a life jacket or personal floating device is no substitute for adult supervision.