Many boaters believe life jackets are unnecessary unless they’re experiencing rough water or threatening weather conditions. However, half of all fatal boating accidents happen in calm water. And, in most cases, the victims were not wearing life jackets. Some people find life jackets, also called personal flotation devices (PFDs), too bulky or bothersome to wear. But, because accidents happen quickly, water safety experts agree that wearing a PFDs can save your life. In addition to choosing the right kind of PFD, it’s important to know how and when to use them. Here is an overview of the current Michigan life jacket laws.Do You Have a Case?
Some of these laws were established by the U.S. Coast Guard, while others are specific to the state of Michigan. If you will be operating a boat in another state, it’s advisable to check the boating and life jacket laws for your destination(s).
The following rules apply to boaters in Michigan waterways:
Life jackets come in a variety of styles and sizes for people of all ages. In addition to life jackets for boating and water sports, there are specially-designed PFDs for fishing and waterfowl hunting.
Here is a guide to the most common types of PFDs:
These off-shore, highly visible life jackets are best for open, rough or remote waters where rescuers may take a while to arrive.
Type I PFDs have excellent buoyancy and flotation and will turn most unconscious wearers face-up in the water.
These near-shore vests are recommended for calm, inland water where rescuers are likely to arrive quickly.
While Type II PFDs will turn some unconscious wearers face-up in the water, they don’t accomplish this as effectively as Type 1 devices.
These wearable flotation aids are available as vests or full-sleeved jackets. They are best for calm, inland water or situations where rescue is likely to be fast.
They are comfortable and provide freedom of movement for those participating in active water sports.
However, they will not turn most unconscious users face up, and are not recommended for extended survival in rough water.
These throwable rings, cushions, and buoys are intended to be thrown to someone in distress. They are most effective in calm, inland water with heavy boat traffic, where help is readily available.
While they make a good back-up for wearable PFDs, they are not meant for unconscious victims, non-swimmers or children.
Michigan life jacket laws are complicated, but finding the right lawyer is simple.
Call 1-800-CALL-SAM today for a free no-obligation consultation.Do You Have a Case?
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