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New Safety Regulations in Effect for Shore Boaters Until May 1

Posted on March 18, 2024

Cooler weather in the offseason poses a risk of hypothermia for boaters who fall into the water. That was the impetus behind a new safety rule in New Jersey which specifies that each person on board a recreational vessel less than 26 feet must wear a securely fastened United States Coast Guard-approved wearable personal flotation device while the vessel is underway. This rule, which remains in effect between November 1 and May 1, applies to motorboats, rowboats, canoes, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards. Those who do not comply are subject to fines.

The measure has been put in place not only to protect boaters but also to assist first responders in their search and rescue operations, ultimately reducing the incidence of hypothermia-related fatalities. In the unfortunate event of a boat-related accident or mishap, wearing a personal flotation device significantly increases your chances of rescue and survival.

Certain exemptions exist for specific types of vessels like surfboards, racing shells, rowing sculls, and racing kayaks. To see more detail on this regulation, visit the state of New Jersey’s Marine Services Bureau FAQs page.

Accidents on the water can be tragic, especially when personal negligence or a mechanical malfunction is the cause. If you or someone you love was injured in a boating accident and believe that negligence was a factor, please contact us. Having a better understanding of your legal options may help.