Safety measures to follow on the water during holiday weekend
The holiday weekend is a great time to share the fun on Center Hill Lake with friends and family. Keeping that in mind, please follow TWRA safety rules to keep everyone safe.
All children 12 years of age and younger are required to wear a personal floatation device while on the open deck of a recreational boat except when anchored, moored, or aground.
There are four basic things you should keep in mind about your personal flotation devices.
First, you must have one wearable device of the appropriate size on board for each person in the boat or each person being towed. (This applies to rowboats, sailboats, canoes and rafts as well as motorboats.)
Second, each device must be kept readily accessible. They should not be hidden below deck or stored in plastic bags. They should be worn or at least be close at hand where they can be reached quickly in an emergency.
Third, each device must be Coast Guard approved and bear the approval stamp and number.
Fourth, each device must be in good condition and be of the appropriate size for the person intended to wear it. The straps must be firmly affixed, there should be no rips, tears or holes which will affect the operating efficiency of the device, and there should be no leaks in the plastic bags containing the flotation material (this can be checked by squeezing each bag and listening for escaping air.)
All boats, including canoes and kayaks, must be equipped with one wearable personal flotation device for each person on board or for each person being towed on water skis, etc.
Boats 16 feet in length or over must also be equipped with one Type IV (throwable) PFD per boat in case someone falls overboard.
Inflatable Flotation Devices There are a wide variety of inflatable life jackets available. To be accepted as one of the required life jackets on board, the device must have a Coast Guard approval stamp on it. If it is approved as a Type V, it must be worn to be accepted. Inflatable devices of any kind are not acceptable for persons less than 16 years old or for personal watercraft operation.
Ski Belts These are not on the approved list of flotation devices and are not recommended for your safety. A ski belt may not be counted as one of the required pieces of equipment on board any boat. A ski belt may be worn while skiing but an approved flotation device for the skier must be on the towing boat.