You may know that not all people are required to wear life jackets when boating, especially when they’re over the age of 13. However, many marinas and lakes require that everyone wears them when a boat is in motion as a way to make people safer and to prevent drowning accidents. Every state has different regulations when it comes to wearing personal floatation devices, too, which is important to discuss before you head out on the water.

Over two-thirds of boating fatalities are a result of drowning, and in 90% of those cases, the victims were not wearing their life jackets. You may not like wearing a life jacket due to the restriction to your movement or because it feels hot, but there are a few different kinds you could try.

Life jackets come in four types

Life jackets come in four types, I, II, III or IV. Type I has a minimum buoyancy of 22 pounds for adults and 11 for children. This life jacket will turn most people face up in the water and offers the best protection.

Type II has a minimum buoyancy of 15.5 pounds for adults. This form isn’t intended to extend survival in rough waters. You may have to tread water to stay above water with this jacket.

Type II inflatable jackets are made for inland and near-shore cruising. They have a minimum buoyancy of 34 pounds, but they can’t be worn by those under 16.

Type III jackets also have a minimum buoyancy of 15.5 pounds and won’t turn a person face-up in water. It’s more comfortable than Type I or II jackets but also offers less floatation than Type I. Type III inflatables have a buoyancy of 22.5 pounds — but only inflate manually.

Finally, there is the Type IV device, which can be thrown to someone in the water to help them stay afloat. These must be immediately available on a vessel.

Having the right life jacket makes a difference when it comes to preventing serious recreational boating accidents. Look into these and choose the one that will keep you afloat.

Contact the Law Offices of John W. Merting, P.A., for more information and assistance.