Sunday, November 01, 2009

New New York State Life Jacket Law In Effect TODAY!

And now, time for a Frogma Public Service Announcement:

The period of the year during which NY State's new life jacket law is in effect begins today, Sunday, November 1st.

From today until Saturday, May 1st, 2010, if you are venturing out in any pleasure craft meauring less than 21 feet in length, you must be wearing a properly fitted life jacket.

I just noticed an odd inaccuracy in the press release I had posted here in September. It stated that the new law was that "starting Nov. 1, kayakers, canoeists and all those aboard motorboats under 21 feet must wear Coast Guard-approved personal flotation devices while on lakes, the ocean or other waterways."

They actually got it right in the first paragraph, where they referred to the law as applying to "everyone in all small pleasure craft". The law also applies to rowboats, sailboats, Adirondack guide boats, pirogues, sampans, sculls, punts, coracles, curraghs, chokkibune*, etc. - if it's a boat and it's under 21 feet, it's included.

And wearing your PFD during cold-water time isn't just the law - it's a really good idea, and it could just save your life.

Here's to a safer winter on the water!

*"Chokkibune" is the only name in that list that I didn't pull straight from my own head & is probably unfamiliar to most readers (with the possible exception of Pandabonium). A Chokkibune is an Edo-era Japanese water taxi, and I got the name out of a fascinating article, Building Traditional Japanese Boats, which I found on

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