Substitute House Bill No. 6554
          Substitute House Bill No. 6554

               PUBLIC ACT NO. 97-49


AN  ACT CONCERNING CHILDREN AND PERSONAL FLOTATION
DEVICES.


    Be  it  enacted  by  the  Senate  and House of
Representatives in General Assembly convened:
    Section  1.  Subsection  (a) of section 15-129
of  the  general  statutes  is  repealed  and  the
following is substituted in lieu thereof:
    (a) The provisions of this section shall apply
to vessels operated  on  state and federal waters.
(1) Every vessel  shall  carry  for each person on
board, so placed  as  to be readily accessible, at
least one buoyant  personal  flotation  device. [,
except that sailboards  are] THE OPERATOR OR OWNER
OF  ANY  VESSEL   BEING   USED   FOR  RECREATIONAL
PURPOSES, OTHER THAN  A  VESSEL REQUIRED TO HAVE A
CERTIFICATE  OF INSPECTION  ISSUED  BY  THE  COAST
GUARD, SHALL REQUIRE  ANY CHILD UNDER TWELVE YEARS
OF  AGE WHO  IS  ABOARD  SUCH  VESSEL  TO  WEAR  A
PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICE  WHILE  SUCH  VESSEL  IS
UNDERWAY UNLESS THE  CHILD  IS BELOW DECK OR IN AN
ENCLOSED CABIN. SAILBOARDS  SHALL  BE  exempt from
carrying a personal  flotation  device if the mast
of the sailboard is secured to the hull by a leash
or safety line.  (2) Every motorboat with enclosed
fuel  storage  space   or   an   enclosed   engine
compartment shall be  equipped  with  devices  for
ventilating  flammable  or  explosive  gases.  (3)
Every motorboat with  a  carbureted inboard engine
shall have the  carburetor of such engine equipped
with a flame arrestor or backfire trap unless such
engine is mounted  in  the  aftermost  part of the
vessel with no  provisions for carrying passengers
behind the forward  edge  of  the  engine  and the
carburetor of such  engine  has its intake opening
above the gunwale  line  of the vessel in the open
atmosphere  and mounted  so  backfire  flames  are
directed to the  rear  or vertically away from the
vessel  and its  occupants.  (4)  Every  motorboat
shall have its  engine  equipped with an effective
muffling device. (5)  All  inboard motorboats, all
outboard motorboats twenty-six  feet  or  over  in
length,  and all  outboard  motorboats  less  than
twenty-six feet in length which have a compartment
in which gases  may  accumulate, shall be equipped
with  a fire  extinguisher.  (6)  Every  motorboat
sixteen feet or  more  in length shall be equipped
with a whistle or horn-type sound-producing device
capable of producing  a  blast  of  two seconds or
more in duration.  On  motorboats  sixteen feet or
more but less  than twenty-six feet in length such
device shall be  mouth, hand or power operated and
audible for at  least one-half mile. On motorboats
twenty-six feet or  more  but less than forty feet
in length such  device  shall  be  hand  or  power
operated and audible  for  at  least  one mile. On
motorboats  forty  feet  or  more  but  less  than
sixty-five feet in  length  such  device  shall be
power operated and  audible for at least one mile.
Every motorboat twenty-six  feet or more in length
shall be equipped with a bell capable of producing
a   clear   bell-like    tone    of   full   round
characteristics. (7) Every  vessel operated on the
waters of Long  Island  Sound  or  Fishers  Island
Sound  between  sunset  and  sunrise  shall  carry
visual distress signals  suitable  for  night use.
Every  vessel sixteen  feet  or  more  in  length,
except  manually  propelled   vessels   and   open
sailboats that are  less  than  twenty-six feet in
length,  and  are  not  equipped  with  propulsion
machinery, operated on  the  waters of Long Island
Sound or Fishers  Island  Sound  at any time shall
carry visual distress signals suitable for day and
night use. No  person,  operator  or  owner  in  a
vessel shall display  or  allow  the  display of a
visual distress signal  except  when assistance is
needed because of immediate or potential danger to
persons aboard.
    Sec. 2. This  act  shall  take  effect July 1,
1997.

Approved May 14, 1997