Stay Safe on the Water This Labor Day Weekend


Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks wants to remind boaters to be safe on the water this weekend.

All boats must have one U.S Coast Guard-approved life jacket, also known as a personal floatation device or PFD Type I, II, or III, for each person on board.

  • Life jackets must be in good condition, the appropriate size for the intended wearer, and readily accessible.
  • Boats 16 feet or longer (excluding canoes and kayaks) must also have at least one throwable floatation device (Type IV) such as a ring buoy or boat cushion. This floatation device must be immediately available and within reach of the boat’s operator or passengers.
  • Under Montana Law, life jackets must be worn by:
  • kids under 12 years of age in boats less than 26 feet in length and in motion;
  • water skiers, tubers, or anyone being towed by a boat; and
  • anyone operating or riding a personal watercraft.

The importance of life jackets cannot be underestimated. If you’re floating through whitewater, get caught in a storm, or you’re not a good swimmer, wearing a lifejacket could save your life. These rules are there to help keep summer days on the water safe and fun for everyone.

For more information on boating safely on Montana Waters check out the Boating Safety web pages on the FWP website.