Personal Injury



Summer is underway and boats are abound on our beautiful Michigan lakes and rivers. Before you head out to enjoy fun on the water, make sure that you and your guests have the necessary safety equipment on board should any trouble arise.

Life Jackets

An accessible, wearable personal flotation device (PDF) (Type I, II, or III) is a life jacket that must be available for each person on board. Life jackets must be USCG–approved and in good serviceable condition. You must have one life jacket of the appropriate size for each person on the boat and children must have a properly fitted life jacket designed for children.

State law requires children under 6 years of age to wear a USCG–approved Type I or II PFD when riding on the open deck of any vessel while underway.  Life jackets should be “readily accessible” to passengers. In addition, boats / row boats 16 feet or longer, (except canoes and kayaks) must have one Type IV (throwable) PFD device which shall be “immediately available”.

Fire Extinguisher

Fire extinguishers are required if one of the following conditions exist:

  1. Inboard engines
  2. Double bottom hulls not completely sealed or not completely filled with flotation materials
  3. Closed living space
  4. Closed stowage compartments that contain flammable materials
  5. Permanently installed fuel tanks.

Recreational boats less than 26 feet and propelled by outboard motors are not required to have fire extinguishers unless one or more conditions (2-5) listed above apply. Fire extinguishers must be readily accessible and verified as serviceable.

Visual Distress Signals

Recreation boats 16 feet and longer used on the Great Lakes are required to carry a minimum of either:

  1. Three day and three night pyrotechnic devices (flares)
  2. One day non-pyrotechnic device (flag) and one night non-pyrotechnic device (auto SOS light), OR
  3. A combination of #1 and #2

Recreational boats less than 16 feet on the Great Lakes need only carry night visual distress signals when operating from sunset to sunrise.

Marine Radio or Cell Phone

Be prepared to call for help if:

  • You are involved in or witness an accident
  • Your boat or the boat of another becomes disabled
  • You need medical assistance

Protecting Yourself and Your Loved Ones

Above are just a few of the necessary requirements. For more information on Michigan’s boating laws, rules and regulations visit

And remember: if you want to stay safe on the lake, you have to know what you’re doing. For the sake of yourself and your loved ones, know before you go.

If you or a loved one is suffering the consequences of someone else’s recklessness, our team of experienced personal injury attorneys can help fight for you. Click here to schedule your free consultation.

Share this Article
Evan Pappas

Evan Pappas's Bio

Evan Pappas is passionate about helping people that may have been injured in an accident; auto, trucking, motorcycle, medical negligence, police brutality, sex abuse and assault and others.