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Indiana PFD requirements

Vessels may only be operated in or on Indiana state waters if the vessel is carrying at least one US Coast Guard-approved wearable personal flotation device (PFD) in good condition that is readily available, approved for the appropriate activity, and of the correct size for every person aboard.

  • Each vessel must have at least one wearable U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) approved PFD of proper size, in serviceable condition, and readily accessible for each person on board and for anyone being towed
  • Boats 16 feet or more in length, except canoes and kayaks, must carry at least one throwable USCG-approved PFD
  • Anyone operating or riding on a personal watercraft (PWC), and anyone being towed on water skis or a similar device must wear a properly fitted USCG-approved PFD (ski belts are not permitted)

Additionally, on Waters of Concurrent Jurisdiction*:

  • Passengers under 13 years of age must wear a properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard approved PFD at all times if the vessel they are on is underway, unless they are below deck inside a fully enclosed cabin.
  • Only wearable PFD are permitted for use by anyone towed on water skis, a surfboard, a kite or similar device. Type V PFD are not approved. 

*Waters of Concurrent Jurisdiction include Lake Michigan, the Ohio River, and the section of the Wabash River on the border between Indiana and Illinois.

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