What's the most important thing you can do to keep yourself safe while swimming and boating? It's simple: Wear a life jacket.
Infants, small children and non-swimmers should always wear a life jacket when near the water. Everyone should wear a life jacket when boating – in many cases it's the law. In an emergency, seconds count – and there may not be time to retrieve stowed life jackets or put them on.
Know the rules
- All recreational boats including canoes and kayak must have one wearable U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket, also known as a personal flotation device (PFD), for each person on board.
- PFDs must be:
- Coast Guard-approved.
- Appropriate size for the intended user.
- In good condition.
- Readily accessible.
- All vessels 16 feet or longer (excluding canoes and kayaks) must have one Type IV throwable flotation device.
Texas Water Safety Act requires children under the age of 13 in motorboats less than 26 feet in length to wear a life jacket when the boat is under way.
- Each occupant on a personal watercraft, regardless of age, must wear a life jacket.
- Inflatable life jackets are not approved for users under 16 and may not be used on personal watercraft, for water skiing or other high-speed activities.