Vicksburg, Miss... The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers lakes in Mississippi will continue to implement the mandatory wearing of a life jacket. A U.S. Coast Guard life jacket test program was initiated in May 2009 to determine if more stringent life jacket wear requirements would improve wear rates and decrease the number of water related fatalities. The test program was implemented at Arkabutla, Sardis, Enid and Grenada lakes.
The regulations for life jackets use are that all persons must wear a Type I, II or III US Coast Guard-approved life jacket at all times while swimming outside of designated swimming areas and while skiing or being pulled by a vessel, regardless of vessel length.
In addition, all persons must wear a Type I, II or III US Coast Guard-approved life jacket on powered vessels 16 to 26 feet in length whenever under power by the main propulsion unit; however, life jackets are not mandatory when the vessel is stationary or powered by a trolling motor.
All persons must wear a Type I, II or III US Coast Guard-approved life jacket at all times on powered vessels less than 16 feet in length or on non-powered vessels, regardless of length. Non-powered vessels include, but are not limited to canoes, kayaks, flat bottoms/john boats, sailboats and paddleboats.
As the Nation’s number one provider of water based recreational opportunities, our goal is to minimize the potential for public drowning fatalities. This program has clearly demonstrated that the life jacket policy has increased wear rates and has clearly saved lives. Due to its success, the program will continue as it is currently structured.
The Vicksburg District encompasses a 68,000-square-mile area across portions of Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana. The Mississippi lakes not only provide flood risk reduction, but also contribute approximately $99.5 million into the local economy with approximately 4.9 million visitors each year. For more information visit our website, www.mvk.usace.army.mil .
Release no. 13-037