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Kids Life Jacket Law Goes Into Effect Today!!!

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Kids life jacket law goes into effect May 6

A new requirement, for children under age 10 to wear a life jacket while boating on Minnesota waters, was signed into law by Gov. Tim Pawlenty Thursday and went into effect Friday, May 6. Called the "Grant Allen Law," the measure was named in memory of the child who drowned after falling out of his father's boat in 2003.

The new law requires that a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket be worn by children younger than age 10 in boats that are underway or otherwise not tied up to a dock or permanent mooring.

There are a few exceptions to the law. Children are not required to wear a life jacket if they are in a boat's enclosed cabin or below decks, or on an anchored boat that is being used as a platform for swimming or diving. Also, children on board commercial or charter vessels with a licensed captain are exempt from the life jacket wearing requirement.

Boat operators who violate the law are subject to a written warning for the first offense and a petty misdemeanor for a second offense until May 1, 2006, and a petty misdemeanor for any offense on or after May 1, 2006.

For more information, visit the DNR Web site www.dnr.state.mn.us or call (651) 296-6157 or toll free 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367).


- requires life jacket to be worn by children less than 10 years of age when aboard watercraft in Minnesota when the craft is under way (not tied up at a dock or permanent mooring)

- exemptions from wearing:

- when in an enclosed cabin or below the top deck on a watercraft

- when on an anchored boat that is a platform for swimming or diving

- when aboard a charter (passenger) craft with a licensed captain.


- written warning only for the FIRST offense - until May 1, 2006

- petty misdemeanor for second offense during period above and any offense on or after May 1, 2006.

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Thanks Rick for letting us know.

That is very important, and I am very glad it's a law now, but I feel that any child on a boat should wear a lifejacket regardless of the law.

Mine hate me for it, but they'll be glad if they will fall into water....

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

I've been lying to all the kids I've taken out on the water.

They were told by me that they by law must wear their lifejacket the second they step onto the dock. Once in the boat it can never come off. I even convinced myself that its a good idea to wear one and to tether up.

I mean if dad falls out of the boat at least the engine will quit and the kids left in the boat don't have to watch him drown as the boat motors away without a someone at the tiller.

Life Jackets are Cool and could even save your life.

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I can't think of a better law. It has always been mandatory that any kids in my boat have a life jacket on at all times.

I was there when that little boy fell out of his dads boat and drowned. At first we weren't sure what was happening. When we found out, it was very sad. Nice to see that maybe something good has come out of it and maybe another childs life will be saved because of it.

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This is a great law. My kids also think that that is the way it has always been. Life jackets are so comfortable these days they rarely even question it at all.

Hopefully with this new law no one will have a report like Pauls. That would be very hard to take.

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When my grandaughter goes to the lake,once shes goes outside she puts on her life jacket on and it DOES NOT come off untill she come back in the cabin.She is now three and thinks nothing of wearing it.The kids can get to the lake sometimes b-4 you even know it and then at least the have a jacket on.This might seem wierd to some,but the chance of drowning is really reducded,as they can get to the water b-4 you know it.

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Great advice S.T. and others!

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This is one of those excellent laws that only come into effect after a tragedy. I am thinking back to when my son was little and he was required to at least wear a life vest while we were under way and I can't remember if I let him take it off while we were not.

Anyway I think it is great idea. Just wish I could get myself in the habit of wearing one while under way. Most of the time I just don't think of it. Old habits die hard, took my quite a while to get into the habit of a safety belt shoulder harness in the vehicle too, but I finally did.

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The law is great ,but the sad fact is children always have a way of finding water without an adult around to tell them to wear there lifejacket. Educating your kids into believing this is the only way to save yourself is really just as important. Often times there is no help nearbye when a child falls in.

My son has always thought this is the way it is suppose to be when he is near water, to grab his lifejacket. But like

all kids, they do forget. Keeping an eye for those times is never easy.

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(Contact US Regarding This Word)... I got into the habit of putting on my lifejacket when unerway whan I started taking my nephew with me. I always made him put it on and I would do the same. When we were anchored i would let him take it off. I don't know about now though... I sweat like a stuck hog when wearing a life jacket on a hot summer day. So now it will be the old, "do as I say not as I do" thing. Wonder how that will fly? Take care and N Joy the Hunt././Jimbo

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Great Law. Nothing wrong with having the kiddies wearing the LJ's while they're on the boat and even the dock.


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