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Safety Nugget Week of July 4 – Lake Safety< Back to Blog

Jul 08, 2016
By: J. Randall
Categories: Safety

Lake activities go hand in hand with Oklahoma summers.  If you are planning to spend time lounging on a boat or cruising across the lake, it is important to familiarize yourself with boat safety requirements.

Personal flotation device or PFD (life jacket):

  • All boats must carry one wearable USCG-approved PFD for each person on board.
  • All passengers 12 years and younger on boats less than 26 feet in length must wear a United States Coast Guard-approved PFD whenever the vessel is underway.
  • Life jackets must:
  • be United States Coast Guard (USCG) approved
  • be in good and serviceable condition, and
  • Must be of suitable size for the intended person, and approved for the activity.


Each person on a personal watercraft, or PWC, or being towed on water skis or other devices, must wear a USCG-approved PFD at all times. Ski belts are not approved PFDs.

In addition to the wearable life jacket requirement, all boats 16 feet or greater in length shall also have on board at least one USCG approved Type IV throwable device.

Fire Extinguishers

All vessels using flammable liquid as fuel are required to have the proper type, size and number of fire extinguishers on board.

Fire Extinguisher Requirements:

Length of Vessel

Without Fixed System

With Fixed System

Less than 26 ft.

One B-I


26 ft. to less than 40 ft.

Two B-I or One B-II

One B-I

40 ft. to less than 65 ft.

One B-I and One B-II

Two B-I or One B-II


Also keep in mind that drinking while operating a boat or watercraft is dangerous.  Designate a driver so that everyone can enjoy a safe summer. 

For more information visit Oklahoma Department of Safety and Oklahoma Boating Education.


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