PFDs should be worn by ALL boaters when in and around water, not just when operating or riding in a vessel. However, a PFD should be worn especially when encountering dangerous conditions including high boat traffic, severe weather, dangerous water conditions, dangerous local hazards, considerable distance from shore, operations at night, boating alone, traveling at high speed and during water sports activities.
Conditions on and around the water can change very quickly. Even when PFDs are accessible, they can take some time to fit securely and properly. In particular, once in the water, a PFD is much more difficult to put on properly. In the event of an emergency, boaters may not have the time to put on a PFD. Therefore, it is highly recommended that boaters properly wear a PFD, at all times, when on and around the water.