JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - For a lot of Florida families, warming temperatures mean heading out on a boat.
A picture sent in by a viewer shows a group of people, including five children, aboard a JFRD vessel in the Trout River with no life jackets on spurred questions of boating requirements.
The viewer's email stated: "The Jacksonville Fire department recently told about the safety of having all children in life jackets, but they seem to be exempt from the rules."
So, did JFRD violate the rules of the water?
We checked the Florida statute on vessel safety and turns out, the answer is no.
The statute states that for vessels under 26 feet that are in motion on the water, only children under the age of 6 are required to wear a life jacket.
Even if the kids in question were under 6, Tom Francis with JFRD said the boat in the photo is larger than 26 feet, which negates any violation.
According to a Coast Guard spokesperson, if this boat was in federal waters anyone under 13 years of age would have needed a life vest or it would have been a violation of federal law. The Trout River, however, is territory where state law is enforced.