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Every vessel of any description, except sailboards, must carry one U.S. Coast Guard-approved Type I, Il' lil or V flotation device of suitable size for each person on board, plus one U.S. Coast Guard-approved Type IV throwable device in each boat, except for personal watercraft canoes, kayaks and sailboards.
TYPE I (Offshore Life Jacket) Designed to turn an unconscious
person in water to vertical or slightly backward position. 20 pounds
TYPE II (Nearshore Buoyant Vest) Designed to turn an unconscious
person to a vertical or slightly backward position. 15 1/2 pounds buoyancy
TYPE III (Flotation Aid) Designed to keep a conscious person in
vertical or slightly backward position. 15 1/2 pounds buoyancy. Less turning
ability than Type II, designed for water activities, such as skiing .
TYPE IV (Throwable Device) Designed to be thrown to a person in the
water and not worn. 16 1/2 pounds buoyancy.
TYPE V (Special use device) Designed only for specific activities. Check label for limits of use. Varieties include boardsailing vests, deck suits, work vests, hybrid PFDs, and others.