HARRISBURG PA – Planning to take a boat ride, or hunt or fish from a boat, this fall? Don’t forget to bring a life jacket, state 147th District Rep. Marcy Toepel reminded her weekly newsletter readers Friday (Oct. 28, 2016). There’s two good reasons, she added: first, it should help keep you safe, and second, it’s the law.
Pennsylvania’s new mandatory life jacket requirement took effect this week (Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016), and continues through April 30 (2017). It demands that anyone occupying any canoe, kayak, or boat of less than 16 feet in length wear a life jacket while under way or at anchor. The requirement applies to any Pennsylvania waters.
- Watch a video (above) about the law, or see it at the YouTube channel of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, here.
Toepel said experts have reported that when a person is unexpectedly plunged into water colder than 70 degrees, the body’s first response is usually an involuntary gasp. Without a life jacket, a victim may inhale while under water and drown without coming back to the surface. Even individuals who make it back to the surface find their ability to swim is usually restricted because of a shortness of breath or hyperventilation.
She also encouraged hunters and fishers to know and follow cold water survival safety tips.
Toepel represents Upper and Lower Frederick, Upper and Lower Salford, and Marlborough townships, and the boroughs of Schwenksville and Green Lane.
Photo from the PA Fish and Boat Commission via YouTube