Raise your hand if your Facebook or Instagram feed was inundated on July Fourth with pictures of barbecues, swimming, boating, and fireworks. Now, raise your hand if you noticed friends or family in boating pictures posing without wearing a PFD. What's a PFD you ask, it's a personal floatation device and having them on-board is the law in New York State.

While we understand that a PFD messes up that cute bikini or amazing swimsuit, it could save your life. Whether you own a boat, canoe, kayak, according to New York State Parks, you must have a U.S. Coast Guard approved wearable PFD for every person in that boat.

They must be in good condition, no rips or tears, all straps and buckles must be attached and functional, and they must be in a place where they can be reached quickly in case of an emergency.

Other rules are that if you have children on-board, anyone under the age of 12 must wear a securely fastened PFD, if you are towing anyone behind a boat either in an inner tube, water skis, or sails they must also wear also wear one, and if you have a personal watercraft, every rider must also wear a PFD.

While wearing a personal flotation device is always the smart thing to do, it becomes even more important if you are in an area where there's a lot of boat traffic, boating at night, bad weather conditions, or you have poor swimming skills.

You can get more details about the laws and guideline surrounding PFDs in New York by visiting parks.ny.gov. Have a great rest of the summer and here's to safe boating.


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