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Statutes Text

Article - Natural Resources


    (a)    (1)    In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.

        (2)    “Child” means an individual who is under the age of 13 years.

        (3)    “Personal flotation device” means a Type I, II, III, or V U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device that is:

            (i)    The proper size for the child; and

            (ii)    In good and serviceable condition.

        (4)    (i)    “Vessel” means:

                1.    A vessel used for recreational purposes; or

                2.    A vessel leased, rented, or chartered for noncommercial use.

            (ii)    “Vessel” does not include a vessel carrying passengers for hire under the command of an individual licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard to carry passengers for hire, or a vessel displaying a valid seafood harvester’s license number while engaged in the harvesting of seafood for sale.

    (b)    (1)    A person may not operate or permit the operation of a vessel under 21 feet in length while there is present in the vessel a child not wearing a personal flotation device which is securely and properly attached to the child.

        (2)    If the child is under the age of 4 years, the personal flotation device shall feature additional safety precautions, as appropriate for an infant, toddler, or young child, so as to:

            (i)    Hold the child securely within the personal flotation device, including a strap that is secured between the child’s legs to fasten together the front and back of the personal flotation device;

            (ii)    Maintain the buoyancy of the child, including an inflatable headrest or high collar; and

            (iii)    Ensure the ready accessibility of the child from the vessel, including a web handle.

    (c)    Subsection (b) does not apply to:

        (1)    A vessel that is moored or anchored; or

        (2)    A child who is below deck or in an enclosed cabin.

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