Skip to main content

Maryland law raises PFD age requirement

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley signed a bill into law Tuesday that immediately requires any child under the age of 13 to wear a personal flotation device while aboard a vessel that is under way.

The law will also require children under the age of 16 to possess a certificate of boating safety education before they can operate a vessel unless they are supervised by an adult or someone 16 or older who has a boating safety certificate, effective Oct. 1.

"As a state, nothing we do is more important than protecting the lives of our children," O'Malley said in a statement. "By raising the age at which a child is required to wear a life vest and improving boating safety education, this legislation will do just that."

Formerly, any child under the age of 7 had to wear a PFD on a recreational boat 21 feet or smaller, unless the boat is moored or anchored or the child is below deck in an enclosed cabin.

The state averages 12 boating related fatalities a year. In 2009, Maryland had 17 boating related fatalities;16 of the victims were not wearing PFDs.

Raising the age requirement puts Maryland in line with federal regulations and 34 states, including Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Related

1_WHALESACTION

NMMA: Proposed Speed Rule an ‘Existential Threat’ to Industry

The association is calling on every marine brand, employee and boat owner to file public comment by Oct. 31 over a sweeping regulation to protect North Atlantic right whales.

1_AXOPAR

Axopar and Nimbus Renew Agreement

The boatbuilders have entered an agreement whereby Nimbus Group will retain exclusive rights to sell Axopar boats on the Swedish market.

1_IAN

Hurricane Ian Leaves Devastation in Florida

The storm left a wide swath of destruction, heavily impacting marine interests from Tampa Bay to Marco Island.

Norm

Email Is Your Ticket to Holiday Sales

Developing an effective email campaign can bolster sales and help fill winter coffers at your dealership.

1_NMRA

NMRA Presents Annual Awards

Edson CEO Will Keene and ComMar Sales president Tim Conroy were recognized for their contributions to the marine industry.

1_ PULSE.PING.2

DEALERS: Are Interest Rates Impacting Demand?

This month’s Pulse Report survey asks dealers whether interest rate increases are causing a downturn in boat sales. Take the survey here.

1_EPROPULSION

EPropulsion, Mack Boring Partner with Crest

Pontoon builder Crest will use an ePropulsion Navy 3.0 Evo electric outboard motor and an E175 battery for its 2023 Current model.

1_BENETEAU

Beneteau Reports Significant H122 Growth

The company reported that its revenue grew 8.6 percent and income increased by 30 percent during the first half of 2022.