I 100% disagree with the regulation of no PFD's on the beach. That is absurd rule. They should be viewed as another safety precaution when on the beach, lake etc. Sure there will be rip tides, strong winds and currents, but rather a child/adults has on a PFD or not they should be observing the regulations of safety on the water. I don't believe that parents are less likely to watch their children when they have a PFD on. I believe that the parent is being proactive and that they can observe them easier because of the PFD.
One of my mother's friends took her granddaughter to the beach on vacation. She stated that there were a lot of children all playing in the ocean she couldn't see her. The current pulled the little girl out and she drowned while on vacation with her grandmother. That is a awful incident but it's true.
I do understand also the regulations are set in place to prevent lifeguard from swimming outside of the perimeter that they are observing. And they perhaps feel that some parents will be laxidasy if they have a PFD on and a lifeguard is on duty. But I don't think that they should judge the thoughts of every parents comfort level when they chose to purchase the PFD as a safety measure.. The PFD's should be viewed as a extra precaution.
if that child had on a PFD she still could have been pulled out by the current but everyone on the beach would have seen her. There is a possibility that Advance swimmers could have been present on the beach that day and the Lifeguard could have called for help or swam to retrieve the child and brought her back to safety. The Lifeguard would have clearly seen her floating in the PFD 🦺 if she had one on.
I believe that she would still be alive today I'd she had on a PFD.
That regulation needs to be overturned and PFD's should be a choice.
Gwendell S Livingston
Sent: 07-15-2021 04:52 PM
From: Cody Jones
Subject: Usage of PFD's at beaches
This is not the first time I have heard of such a regulation of this nature (as foolish as it is in my personal opinion). I have also heard it of public pools as well and I cringe at the thought of a government entity or it's political subdivisions thinking that restricting a piece of safety equipment from being employed is the right approach. As a member of the Life Jackets, PFDs and other floatation devices working group of the National Water Safety Plan, I with many others have had the opportunity to delve into a myriad of research and I don't ever recall seeing one that indicated restricting this use of life jackets would increase supervision and thus decrease drownings. In fact the research points directly to the use of such a device being the single most likely tool to saving lives. I wonder how such a regulation would even be enforce??? As a parent, I would take the ticket and go before the judges and say "if keeping my kid safe from drowning by adding a layer of protection is a crime then throw the book at me!!!". I also wonder what type of subconscious implications such a regulation is doing. For example, if they government is mandate that I can't wear it, it must not be safe and therefor I will never wear it. Just some food for thought. Their may be systemic implications to what has been done to this point that put people at greater risk far beyond those beaches!
Boating Law Administrator
Asst. Commander Game Warden
Texas Parks & Wildlife Dept.
Texas Game Wardens Serving Texans since 1895 - Law Enforcement off the Pavement
Sent: 07-14-2021 12:55 PM
From: Michael Schipritt
Subject: Usage of PFD's at beaches
Our parks division has asked me to pose the a question to the community. Do you allow or not allow the usage of USCG approved PFD's on your beaches? Our regulations currently prohibits the use of these devices at beaches except by an individual with disabilities, I have attached it below if anyone is interested in reading it.
The justification in the past has been that parents will be less likely to pay attention to their children if they are in PFD's and be lulled into a false sense of security. This is starting to cause confrontation between the public and our lifeguards when they have to ask children to take their lifejackets off, and obviously concerns of liability if something happens to a child that the life guard told to remove their PFD.
I will end by saying I have always thought this was a ridiculous regulation and am happy they are looking to change it.
Environmental Police Officer
RI DEM Law Enforcment