Naples Accident Attorneys: Do You Follow Florida’s Paddleboarding Rules?

by Carmen Dellutri on June 27, 2012

Naples accident lawyerPaddleboarding is becoming extremely popular, particularly here in Southern Florida. It is great way to get your exercise outside on the water. However, as Naples injury attorneys, we are concerned that many new to the sport are not aware that there are several paddleboarding safety regulations.

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) has determined that a paddleboard is required to have the same safety equipment as other small human-powered vessels like canoes/kayaks. As detailed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, this means:

  • Unless the paddleboard is being used within a “swimming, surfing or bathing area,” the paddleboard must have a USCG-approved life jacket for each person and a sound-producing device on board while on the water.
  • Although persons on the paddleboard are not required to wear the life jacket while on Florida waters (unless they are less than six years of age), it is advisable to find a comfortable life jacket that you can wear or easily carry while on the water.
  • A "sound-producing device" is a small whistle or horn that can be heard for a least one-half nautical mile. "Referee-type" whistles or other similar devices that can be attached to your life jacket should work well.
  • If you are operating in limited visibility or at night, you will also need a flashlight or lantern that produces a white light.  It should be displayed to approaching vessels in enough time to prevent a collision.  The light should not be continually displayed.
  • If using a paddleboard offshore or on certain coastal waters at nighttime, visual distress signals may be required, per the Code of Federal Regulations.

While paddleboarding may be fun, as with any other water-related activity, the risk of injury is always there. Therefore, we encourage you to keep these safety rules in mind the next time you hit the water.

The Dellutri Law Group is focused on making bad situations better and putting lives back together. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Naples accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.

To learn more about your legal options, contact our experienced Naples injury attorneys for a free consultation.


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