EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — As temperatures tumble, an important reminder for boaters, anglers, and hunters from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. The annual cold-weather life jacket requirement is now in effect.

Now through the end of April, boaters are required to wear a US Coast Guard-approved life jacket on boats less than 16 feet in length. They’re also required on kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards. It applies to all Pennsylvania waters.

“We just want them to put this extra measure in place because the water temperature has dropped rapidly, and so it’s an extra protection and we know it saves lives,” said PA Fish and Boat Commission Communications Director Mike Parker.

Since the mandatory life jacket wear law was enacted in 2012, the Fish and Boat Commission says they have seen a significant drop in boating incidents resulting in fatalities during the cold weather months.