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Kayaking? Life Jackets Required

September 15, 2022 - May 15, 2023

Manchaug Pond Foundation Safe Boating

Manchaug Pond Foundation Safe BoatingManchaug Pond Foundation Safe BoatingDid you know life jackets are required for cold weather kayaking in five states including Massachusetts?

From September 15th through May 15th life jackets are required, yes mandatory, for all person’s kayaking and canoeing on Manchaug Pond and all other Massachusetts waterways. It is not enough to have the life jacket in the boat,  all persons on board a canoe or kayak must wear a life jacket/PFD at all times.

People enjoy boating and fishing in the fall and spring, but a nice sunny spring or fall day can quickly become hazardous if you end up in cold water. According to the Massachusetts Environmental Police, most boating fatalities in the Commonwealth result when boaters fail to wear life jackets while in small craft in cold water or weather. Paddlers in canoes and kayaks are required to wear life jackets from September 15 – May 15.

The Wear It! Campaign unites the efforts of a wide variety of boating safety advocates and is produced under a grant from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard. The Wear It! Campaign reminds boaters to:Manchaug Pond Foundation Safe Boating

  • Make sure everyone – even experienced swimmers – wears a properly fitting U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket appropriate for the water activity.
  • Follow navigation rules, such as maintaining a proper lookout and safe speed.
  • Never boat under the influence. Alcohol is responsible for 21 percent of boating fatalities.
  • Keep in touch. Cell phones, satellite phones, emergency position radio beacons, VHF radios and personal locator beacons can all contribute in an emergency.
  • Don’t panic if you fall into the water. Stay afloat with the help of your life jacket, regain control of your breathing, keep your head above water in vision of rescuers, and stay with the boat if possible.*

Seasonal cold water temperatures combined with rough water, rain and windy conditions which occur suddenly on a lake, even 380 acre Manchaug Pond, leave a boater at risk. Your safety is of utmost concern, don’t be caught of guard! Compliance with state boating rules and regulations are enforced with safety inspections performed regularly by town, state and environmental police at Manchaug Pond’s public access boat ramp and on the water.

Visit our Safe Boating page for your safety check list, boating rules and regs. and courses, and where to report an accident/incident. If cold weather boating in the other states of Connecticut, Maine, New York, and Pennsylvania, check the local laws to make sure you are in compliance as dates and requirements vary.

 * Information courtesy of Massachusetts Wildlife.

Manchaug Pond Foundation Safe Boating


September 15, 2022
May 15, 2023
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State Boat Ramp
22 Torrey Road
Sutton, MA 01590 United States
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Comments 2

  1. This is refreshing! Thank you for creating this page. I’m a Sutton resident and lost my 20 y/o athletic nephew to drowning in June while kayaking on the Merrimack River. He was not wearing his life preserver as he was anchored and felt over confident in his swimming skills. No one is a match for Mother Nature. I have been in touch with National Safe Boating Council, MA and NH Fish and Game and NH Marine Patrol and am working towards also helping to promote the “Wear It” campaign. Please let me know if I can be of service to you. Would hate for any other family to feel this unnecessary pain.

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