Workshop to be held to discuss possible PFD mandate

CHICAGO, Ill. – The U.S. Coast Guard and the Personal Flotation Device Manufacturers Association (PFDMA) will be hosting a workshop at the Miami International Boat Show to gather industry and public comment on pending legislation that would mandate the use of PFDs on vessels under 20 feet in length, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) reported in a statement today.

Currently, the U.S.C.G. and National State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) are working together to develop a national rule to mandate the PFD use, according to NMMA. The National Boating Safety Advisory Committee has recently adopted a resolution to support the efforts of the U.S.C.G. and NASBLA. The workshop will provide an opportunity to comment on what route the U.S.C.G. should take.

“It is imperative that industry be present at this meeting to voice their views on the direction of this initiative,” said PFDMA associate director Bernice McArdle. “We need input, and the opinions of every attendee will make a difference.”

The workshop is scheduled for Friday, February 13, from 3–5 p.m. at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Representatives from various industry segments, including angling, retail and paddlesports, are expected to deliver brief presentations on the challenges, obstacles and opportunities facing the industry. An open discussion is then expected to be held to hear the views and opinions from attendees, according to NMMA.

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