What are the penalties for violating boating regulations in Florida?

Everyone onboard a yacht and anyone being towed behind a vessel must wear a US Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device. Violating this regulation and others pertaining to boating are punishable with a $50 - $80 fine, depending on the county.


Florida has more yearly boat accidents than any other state.

These boat accidents occur mainly because individuals underestimate the dangers of watercraft compared to cars or maybe do not understand the nautical rules and safety laws.

Boating education is crucial when wanting to limit boat accidents. The state of Florida urges all people onboard a boat to wear a life jacket.

According to state law, children under six years of age must wear a US Coast Guard-approved Type I, II, or III life jacket while on any vessel which is less than 26 feet in length that is underway.

Also, each person onboard a yacht and anyone being towed behind a vessel must wear a USCG-approved life jacket.

Violating these regulations is considered a non-criminal infraction and is punishable with a $50 - $80 fine. Also, according to state law, officers can issue citations for the negligent operation of a vessel.

Other regulations referring to life jackets include the following:

  • A vessel's owner and operator are responsible for carrying, storing, maintaining, and using the safety equipment required by the US Coast Guard (USCG).
  • It is required that all vessels have onboard a wearable USCG-approved personal flotation device (PFD) for each person.
  • The PFDs must be of the appropriate size for the person who wears them, be in serviceable condition, and be within easy access.
  • Vessels 16 feet in length or longer must also have at least one USCG-approved throwable Type IV PFD that is immediately available in case of a fall overboard.

How can The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary help you?

Miami boating accident attorney Sean M. Cleary has vast experience representing personal injury victims.

This specialization allows our lawyer to bring legal expertise to clients’ yacht accident personal injury claims, not possessed by many lawyers.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a yachting, boating, or personal watercraft accident, it is crucial that you contact an experienced and skilled yacht accident attorney.

Maritime law is quite different from land-based law, complete with its particular filing deadlines and pleading requirements.

Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided on this site is not formal legal advice, also the site does not allow you to form an attorney-client relationship.