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Old    KnoxVol (KnoxVol)      Join Date: May 2012       06-07-2012, 10:13 PM Reply   
So, as I'm sure as many of you have, I have a bag or two of 4 basic orange life jackets to keep me legal when I have a larger crew. I was told by someone though that they had heard of people being stopped and because the bag was zipped, it was considered to be only ONE floating device and had the bag simply been unzipped, the contents would have been counted individually.

Anyone ever heard of this and is there any truth to that?
Old    Nick Heckerson (kstateskier)      Join Date: May 2002       06-07-2012, 10:26 PM Reply   
Depends on the state. Some states require that the life vests are out and available throughout the boat. Others allow them to be in lockers.
Old    Todd (antoddio)      Join Date: Dec 2006       06-07-2012, 10:29 PM Reply   
Well as long as people are seated they are considered part of the boat, so they only need one flotation device is what I heard from the brother of a friend of a dude this other guy new in college.

Just kidding, but seriously, that's ridiculous.
Old    Todd (antoddio)      Join Date: Dec 2006       06-07-2012, 10:33 PM Reply   
well paint me purple and call me barney...actually

Accessibility

Wearable lifejackets must be readily accessible.
You must be able to put them on in a reasonable amount of time in an emergency (vessel sinking, on fire, etc.).
They should not be stowed in plastic bags, in locked or closed compartments or have other gear stowed on top of them.
The best lifejacket is the one you will wear.
Though not required, a lifejacket should be worn at all times when the vessel is underway. A wearable lifejacket can save your life, but only if you wear it.
Throwable devices must be immediately available for use.

Rather unfeasible if you have a large crew...take your chances I guess. I wouldn't worry about it though
Old    Cobra Rob (CobraRob)      Join Date: Aug 2010       06-07-2012, 11:02 PM Reply   
We have been hassled about it so I no longer keep them in the bag.

I however also got a lecture last year about them not being allowed in the rear locker. That is considered a container.

I tried to explain it seems pretty unreasonable and unsafe to have 18 jackets laying around the boat if we are full. The officer did not care.
Old    Bu Coo (brett564)      Join Date: Jul 2006       06-08-2012, 12:18 AM Reply   
For California...

Life Jackets and the Law
For a boat less than 16 feet long, or a canoe or a kayak of any length, you are required to:

Everyone on board a personal watercraft (popularly known as “jet skis”) and anyone being towed behind a vessel must wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
A Coast Guard-approved life jacket must be carried for each person on board. If stored, these life jackets must be readily available (easy to get to), and you must show passengers the location of life jackets and other safety equipment.
Anyone using an underwater maneuvering device is exempt from wearing a life jacket. An underwater maneuvering device is any towed or self-powered device designed for underwater use that a person can pilot through diving, turning and surfacing moves.

For a boat 16 feet or longer, you must carry for each passenger:

The same requirements as above and one immediately accessible (easy-to-reach) Type IV device designed for throwing – such as a ring, cushion or horseshoe buoy for each boat.
.................................................. .............

So by letter of the law standards, being inside the plastic wrap, bag, etc would not be considered easy to get to in my opinion.

Last edited by brett564; 06-08-2012 at 12:19 AM. Reason: correction
Old    Bu Coo (brett564)      Join Date: Jul 2006       06-08-2012, 12:20 AM Reply   
I know you're in Tennessee but the laws are probably similar.
Old    Ktrent (ktrent)      Join Date: Jul 2010       06-08-2012, 7:22 AM Reply   
I am in tn and have been stopped many times. Our jackets are always in the rear lockers and they have alway just asked me to hand each person a jacket so they can hold up during inspection. Then after inspection I return them to locker usual while the officer is still there. I have some orange ones too but usually we have enough nice ones. My orange ones are not in plastic bit they are neatly at the bottom. Never had a jacket issue at all with TWRA. As long as no one acts out are smarts off you will be fine. Every person I know that has gotten a ticket has been sloppy drunk or ran their mouth. They want us to have fun but be safe. At the end of the day they don't want to have to work a accident. They want to go home and relax.
Old    KnoxVol (KnoxVol)      Join Date: May 2012       06-08-2012, 7:31 AM Reply   
Thanks - I've been stopped before, and while I had enough life jackets, they were were just each loose in the rear locker. They didn't have a problem with that at all. I just bought one of those 4-pack bags to have in the rear locker now in addition to the ones I already had for when I have a larger crew. I guess I will just keep that bag unzipped to be safe, but just had never heard of that before.
Old    Chase Tillett (tn_rider)      Join Date: Dec 2009       06-08-2012, 9:04 AM Reply   
I'm in TN as well, its weird, T-Dub (twra) dont mess with wakeboats in our area AT ALL I'm talking they will come in the cove and stop every boat in the cove BUT us. The very few times they have stopped us they counted the comp vest as USCG approved jackets lol.
Old    Justin (newmy79)      Join Date: Jun 2005       06-08-2012, 10:04 AM Reply   
Just to add, I live in NJ and your original post comment is also true in NJ. You have to have the jackets out of that bag and accessible or else it's one flotation device.
Old    kx250frider617            06-08-2012, 10:46 AM Reply   
I've been pulled over and checked for jackets, we had plenty of extras is a accessible place. However, we were boarding with impact vests. They didn't notice them in till they checked if all were CGA. We got off with a warning but the way they worded it seamed ridiculous to me. The patrol guy said that they would write me a ticket for a skier with NO vest on. When we did have one on. They should be more detailed saying non-CGA vests or something.

Also, don't forget your throwable and fire extinguisher and flag, Those things seam to walk out of my boat on their own.
Old    Ktrent (ktrent)      Join Date: Jul 2010       06-08-2012, 12:24 PM Reply   
I have been on tn lakes my entire life and never seen anyone with a skier down flag. Been pulled over plenty of times and never been asked about them either.

The TWRA has always been super cool with us. Never pulled us durning a session only while we are sitting and always been nice.
Old    Timmy! (timmyb)      Join Date: Apr 2007       06-08-2012, 2:07 PM Reply   
Just have everyone jump on board the cops boat and ask why he doesn't have the vests readily accessible for the amount of people on his boat.

Ok, probably not gonna happen but it would be funny...until the ticket came!
Old    mojo            06-08-2012, 2:58 PM Reply   
i honestly have no idea what the "law" requires, but i always have a cga vest for each person on my boat, along with a throwable. i don't leave them sitting on the floor or make people wear them like it sounds some agencies are trying to push. the crappy thing is that the marine police who has been on my waterway for years is leaving, and the new guy is supposedly a stickler for rules. we have not been pulled over in years; mainly do the fact that we know our marine police and he knows that if someone's operating my boat it's going to be done properly. I'm hoping the new guy realizes this soon because i really don't like being pulled over while i'm pulling someone or simply just to try to find something to give me a ticket for.
Old    Chase Tillett (tn_rider)      Join Date: Dec 2009       06-18-2012, 11:16 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by mojo View Post
i honestly have no idea what the "law" requires, but i always have a cga vest for each person on my boat, along with a throwable. i don't leave them sitting on the floor or make people wear them like it sounds some agencies are trying to push. the crappy thing is that the marine police who has been on my waterway for years is leaving, and the new guy is supposedly a stickler for rules. we have not been pulled over in years; mainly do the fact that we know our marine police and he knows that if someone's operating my boat it's going to be done properly. I'm hoping the new guy realizes this soon because i really don't like being pulled over while i'm pulling someone or simply just to try to find something to give me a ticket for.


We had a stickler in our area last year. While he never messed with us he harrassed fisherman that were fishing in the bass masters tournament that's held one cove down from ours. I did a survey for the guy and he came out boasting about pulling them over in the tournament. The fisherman complained to the TWRA board and were told to apologize to the officer. (crazy right) He said "yeah they had to all come apologize to me, I thought that was pretty cool."

I know several officers in the area and one in particular had his son that we all knew well drown in the lake a few years ago. That officer rode with the stickler his first day on the job and the stickler was yelling at people telling them to stop on a megaphone. Pulled over every boat he passed and gave 0 warnings all tickets. The officer riding along tried to explain that where we live is a tight knit community and you know most of the people you see on the water and that being a stickler won't make any friends or want to bring many people to the area because of that. His reply was "you just do your job and I'll do mine" needless to say stickler isn't on water patrol in the state of Tennessee anymore.
Old    J D (jeff_mn)      Join Date: Jul 2009       06-18-2012, 11:22 AM Reply   
My opinion?

Who gives a **** about the law.. You should be worried about your CREW.. Don't worry about what a $100 ticket from the DNR is.. Worry about your friends being alive after something catastrophic happens.

Have a lot of jackets on board and have them readily available. Imagine the guilt you would feel if your friend drowned cause your jackets were organized real nice and neat in a plastic bag and they couldn't get to them? Everyones common response is "oh - my friends all know how to swim".. Well - **** happens on the water.. If some idiot crashes into your boat and you have people in the water, injured, etc - you want flotation available NOW..

We have $50,000 boats and we're worried about a $100 fine.. We should worry about our crew and our families safety.. Bring less snacks on the boat or have one less subwoofer if storage is a concern..
Old    BILL RUTH (wdr)      Join Date: Dec 2011       06-18-2012, 12:16 PM Reply   
If anyone from TN wants to look up the codes go to the TN State Supreme court codes section and have a look. I have been through all of the codes and sections pretty thoroughly and have found no mention for the storage of life jackets or for accessability of jackets in the code. I can't remember specifically but I do believe there is mention of it in the USCG regulations (which would overide state law) that says something to the effect of "readily accessible" which would allow for a very broad interpretation of the law. I have "yet" to run into a TWRA or local law officer who enforces the "letter of the law" unless someone was acting stupid when it came to life jackets. Bottom line is a jacket is worthless unless you are wearing it at all times because no one plans to have an accident. Having said that, do I wear mine all the time, no! Except when required to..., have one per occupant, one USCG approved vest "worn" for persons doing any watersports and worn at all times for children 12 and under while underway in TN.
Old    Paul (psudy)      Join Date: Dec 2003       06-18-2012, 12:54 PM Reply   
"The fisherman complained to the TWRA board and were told to apologize to the officer. (crazy right) He said "yeah they had to all come apologize to me, I thought that was pretty cool."

Um. What! I Know what I would have told the TWRA board.
Old    Ryan (ryanw209)      Join Date: Jan 2010       06-18-2012, 1:05 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by antoddio View Post
well paint me purple and call me barney...actually

Accessibility

Wearable lifejackets must be readily accessible.
You must be able to put them on in a reasonable amount of time in an emergency (vessel sinking, on fire, etc.).
They should not be stowed in plastic bags, in locked or closed compartments or have other gear stowed on top of them.
The best lifejacket is the one you will wear.
Though not required, a lifejacket should be worn at all times when the vessel is underway. A wearable lifejacket can save your life, but only if you wear it.
Throwable devices must be immediately available for use.

Rather unfeasible if you have a large crew...take your chances I guess. I wouldn't worry about it though

Sooooo I shouldn't use them as a filler under my 1100 lb bow triangle? haha
Old    Cobra Rob (CobraRob)      Join Date: Aug 2010       06-18-2012, 2:07 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff_mn View Post
My opinion?

Who gives a **** about the law.. You should be worried about your CREW.. Don't worry about what a $100 ticket from the DNR is.. Worry about your friends being alive after something catastrophic happens.

Have a lot of jackets on board and have them readily available. Imagine the guilt you would feel if your friend drowned cause your jackets were organized real nice and neat in a plastic bag and they couldn't get to them? Everyones common response is "oh - my friends all know how to swim".. Well - **** happens on the water.. If some idiot crashes into your boat and you have people in the water, injured, etc - you want flotation available NOW..

We have $50,000 boats and we're worried about a $100 fine.. We should worry about our crew and our families safety.. Bring less snacks on the boat or have one less subwoofer if storage is a concern..
See I have them in a rear locker. EVERYONE on my boat knows where they are. If we can not get into the locker before the boat sinks I don't think they are going to be of much use anyway.

This however, was not acceptable to the officer last year. He considered that a container and we could not store them there....Of course that being said I told him it's too dangerous to have a dozen or more life jackets laying around on the floor and seats and before he even left I put them right back where they go.
Old    Paul (psudy)      Join Date: Dec 2003       06-18-2012, 2:28 PM Reply   
I am suprised he didn't tell you to wear them then, because that is ultimately what they are after.
Old    Ronnie Johnson (slidin_out)      Join Date: Apr 2010       06-18-2012, 3:36 PM Reply   
my whole thing is the government needs to quit policing adults, if they don't want to wear a life jacket or store them in the rear hatch so what, you can't police stupidity out of people, yes they should be onboard and children under a certain age should wear them, after that it's an adult passenger's decision to wear or not wear one, may be harsh here but natural selection only improves the herd, myself i keep one by the driver's seat along with the throw cushion, have a couple of people that occassionally ride with me that keep their riding vests on while the boat is underway, to each his own, government should stay their a$$ out of it, i guess personal responsibility is just a thing of the past now days
Old    Cobra Rob (CobraRob)      Join Date: Aug 2010       06-18-2012, 5:28 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by slidin_out View Post
my whole thing is the government needs to quit policing adults, if they don't want to wear a life jacket or store them in the rear hatch so what, you can't police stupidity out of people, yes they should be onboard and children under a certain age should wear them, after that it's an adult passenger's decision to wear or not wear one, may be harsh here but natural selection only improves the herd, myself i keep one by the driver's seat along with the throw cushion, have a couple of people that occassionally ride with me that keep their riding vests on while the boat is underway, to each his own, government should stay their a$$ out of it, i guess personal responsibility is just a thing of the past now days
It might be cruel to say but the number of drowning deaths per year is Extremely low. Then the number that would have been saved with a life jacket that was more accessible is a very small portion of that. I would say you would prevent absolutely less than a 100 more likely 3-5 people would be all the difference that is made if everyone had to wear at all time. IF THAT.

Seems like a huge waste of time money and BS for something so insignificant.
Old    9Drozd            06-18-2012, 8:38 PM Reply   
I dunno about other lakes but here on Lake Lewisville, people are complete idiots. Having worked on a gasdock right across from party cove, I've seen pretty much everything. The ones that drown are 1. Drunk beyond belief 2. First time boaters that have no water sense 3. Cant swim. Those are the usual three that are repeatedly common. If its not one its a combination of 2. Its funny because we sell so many orange life vests and throw cushions. The sheriff and game wardens stalk party cove and if you stay away from there you'll probably never be stopped.

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