Life Jacket Requirements

The Federal life jacket rule went into effect in 2002. In support of the ongoing efforts of the states and Coast Guard to improve boating safety, the Coast Guard requires that "All children under 13 years old wear Coast Guard approved life jackets (also known as a personal flotation device or PFD), while aboard recreational vessels that are underway, except when the children are below decks or in an enclosed cabin."

Penalties for boaters failing to follow this law are similar to those for failing to have life jackets on board. Penalties may be assessed up to a maximum of $1,100 for each violation.

The Lake Lure Police Department contacted the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) for clarification of the term underway and asked what proof of age would be required. The NCWRC stated that if a vessel is NOT underway it is either anchored or moored.   No proof of age will be required.

For parents and grandparents of children under the age of 13, the Lake Lure police department suggests stocking up on the type 3 PFDs (ski vests), which are far more comfortable than the type 2 style PFDs.