NEW YORK REQUIRES LIFE JACKETS
New York has become the first state to require life jackets for everyone in all small pleasure craft during the six coldest months of the year, when capsized boaters drown faster in chilly water. Starting Nov. 1, kayakers, canoeists and all those aboard motorboats under 21 feet must wear Coast Guard-approved personal flotation devices while on lakes, the ocean or other waterways. The rule remains in effect through May 1. Violators will face fines ranging from $100 to $250. Similar measures apply to canoes and kayaks in Massachusetts and to all manually propelled vessels, including rowboats, in Connecticut. Falling into cold water can trigger shock, disorientation or gasping and inhaling water. Immersion can lead to hypothermia and passing out.