Flotations Devices

It is estimated that 85 percent of boating-related drownings could have been prevented if the victim had been wearing a personal flotation device.

  • In 2003, 21 children, ages 14 and under drowned in reported recreational boating accidents.
  • In 2003, 62 percent of children ages 14 and under, who drowned in reported recreational boating accidents, were not wearing personal flotation devices or life jackets.
  • In 2003, 200 children ages 14 and under sustained injuries in reported recreational boating accidents involving personal watercraft.
  • Forty-four states have enacted boating safety laws requiring children to wear personal flotation devices at all times when on boats or near open bodies of water. These laws vary in age requirements, exemptions and enforcement of procedures. Recreational boats must carry one properly sized, U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device, accessible and in good condition, for each person on board.
  • Approximately half of all boating deaths occur on Saturdays and Sundays between the months of May and August.