MANDATORY LIFE JACKET REQUIREMENT BEGINS NOVEMBER 1

MANDATORY LIFE JACKET REQUIREMENT BEGINS NOVEMBER 1

​​HARRISBURG, Pa. (Oct. 29) – The beauty of changing leaves can provide an ideal backdrop for a fall paddle down a scenic stream, but things can turn ugly if you don’t wear a life jacket.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is reminding boaters that beginning November 1 and lasting through April 30, they are required to wear a life jacket while underway or at anchor on boats less than 16 feet in length or on any canoe or kayak. The requirement applies to all Pennsylvania waters.

“No boating trip should ever begin without wearing a life jacket, especially this time of year,” said Ryan Walt, PFBC Boating and Watercraft Safety Manager. “Even on sunny days when air temperatures are comfortable, water temperatures are quickly dropping. Boaters, especially those in kayaks and canoes, are at greater risk for sudden cold water immersion. A life jacket can keep you afloat and alive.”

According to Pennsylvania boating accident reports, nearly 80-percent of all boating fatalities occur because of boaters not wearing life jackets. A disproportionate number of deaths happen between November and April.