Safety Equipment

Paddling Safety Equipment Requirements

The following gear is required by the United States Coast Guard (USCG).

Lifejacket/Life Jacket/Life Vest/PFD
Good and serviceable condition.
Readily accessible, which means you are able to put the PFD on quickly in an emergency. Do not use the lifejacket to tie the canoes together.
Of the proper size for the intended wearer. Sizing for PFDs is based on body weight and chest size.
All recreational vessels must have at least one Type I, II, III, or V (with restrictions) personal flotation device (life jacket) that is U.S. Coast Guard-approved per person.
No person may use a personal vessel 16 feet in length or more in length unless one Type IV PFD is on board in addition to the total number of PFDs required (one per person).

Title 33 CFR 175.15 Equipment Requirements.
Title 33 CFR 175.21 Condition, size and fit, approval marking.
Title 33 CFR 175.23 Serviceable condition.

Note: Canoe Outpost-Peace River supplies a Type II (orange horse collar) lifejacket for every adult in a rental canoe, kayak, or paddleboard (in the bus or van). Type III adult lifejackets (fitted jackets) are available upon request at front desk.
All Persons 90 lbs. and under in a rental canoe, kayak, or paddleboards need to pick up Type III lifejackets at the front desk/check-in.
All persons desiring a Type III (fitted lifejacket) to wear, needs to pick up lifejacket at front desk/check-in.
Canoe Outpost-Peace River strongly recommends that you wear your lifejacket
Exemptions for Kayaks, Canoes, and SUPs over 16 feet.
Canoes, kayaks, and SUPs 16 feet in length and over are exempted from the requirements to carry an additional type IV PFD (boat cushion).

Title 33 CFR 175.17 Exemptions

Note: Canoe Outpost-Peace River supplies to each person in a rental canoe or kayak a Type IV PFD (boat cushion)
Sound Producing Devices
All vessels are required to carry an efficient sound-producing device, such as a whistle or horn that is audible for at least one-half mile.

Title 33 CFR 83.33 Equipment for sound signals

Note: Canoe Outpost-Peace River supplies a whistle attached to every adult lifejacket.
Navigational Lights

The required navigation lights must be displayed between sunset and sunrise and during periods of restricted visibility.
A sailing vessel, or one under oars, of less than 7 meters in length shall if practical exhibit red and green sidelights, and a stern light visible from at least one mile away. However, if she does not, she can have ready at hand an electric torch or lighted lantern showing a white light which shall be exhibited in sufficient time to prevent collision.

Title 33 CFR 83.25 Sailing vessels and vessels under oars.

Note: Canoe Outpost-Peace River does not supply Navigational Lights for any canoes and kayaks.
If on an overnight trip, paddlers are to supply their own forms of Navigational Lights if they plan to paddle from Sunset to Sunrise (dark).
Visual Distress Signals
Vessels, specifically kayaks, canoes, and SUPs, operating between sunset and sunrise on coastal waters must carry one of the following:
Flares (a.k.a. Pyrotechnics). Must have at least 3 Night, 3 day/night, or a combination.
Electronic Distress Light for Boats. Must have one (1).

Note: Canoe Outpost-Peace River does not supply Visual Distress Signals for any canoe and kayaks.
If on an overnight trip, paddlers are to supply their own forms of Visual Distress Signals if they plan to paddle from Sunset to Sunrise.

Title 33 CFR 175.110 Requirements
Title 33 CFR 175.115 Exemptions
Title 33 CFR 175.130 Accepted Signals
Title 46 CFR 161.013 Electronic Distress Light For Boats
Title 46 CFR 160.072 Distress Signals For Boats, Orange Flag
Pyrotechnics Table 175.150 – Quantity 3 Night or 3 Day/Night combination flares
Coastal Waters – Defined
Vessels must observe the VDS (Visual Distress Signals) requirements when on Florida’s coastal waters (coastal waters are the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and all bays, sounds, harbors, rivers, inlets, etc., where any entrance is over two miles wide to the first point where the distance between shorelines narrows to two miles).

Reference: The Florida boater’s guide, pp.25

Note: Canoe Outpost-Peace River does not operate on or rent vessels for operation on Florida Coastal Waters.
Just for completeness (as of 2/20/2012), according to the 2011 Florida Statutes Title XXIV Chapter 327.50 Vessel safety regulations; equipment and lighting requirements, section (1)(a).
“The owner and operator of every vessel on the waters of this state shall carry, store, maintain, and use safety equipment in accordance with current United States Coast Guard safety equipment requirements as specified in the Code of Federal Regulations [CFR], unless expressly exempted by the department.”