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California Boating 

A Course for Safe Boating

Chapter 1


Personal Safety


To make sure that your life jackets remain in good condition:

Do not alter the life jackets. An altered life jacket no longer meets legal requirements and may not save your life.

Do not place heavy objects on life jackets during storage.

Do not use life jackets as kneeling pads, boat fenders, or seat cushions because they lose buoyancy when they’re crushed.

Let life jackets air-dry thoroughly before putting them away.

Always store your life jackets in a well-ventilated place, out of direct sunlight.

Never dry your life jackets by a direct heat source, such

as a dryer, heater, or radiator.

Before wearing, check life jackets for signs of wear and

age. Look for rips or tears, mildew, loose or missing

straps, frayed webbing, broken zippers or buckles,

and hardened stuffing. A life jacket with any of these

problems must be replaced.


Answer these questions by circling


for true or


for false.

1. Although life jackets come in different styles, there is no difference in their capacity to save a person. . . T F

2. For added safety, it’s a good idea to attach a whistle to your life jacket. T F

3. The nice thing about life jackets is that one size fits all. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . T F

4. You should always check your life jacket for signs of wear or age before using it . . . . . . . . . T F

5. All passengers should wear Coast Guard-approved, properly fitted life jackets under the

following conditions: in rough seas, more than 3 miles off shore, riding on any boat underway,

when the wearer is not a good swimmer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . T F

Turn to page 100 for correct answers.