Beginning this week, a new U.S. Coast Guard regulation designed to prevent childhood drownings requires all children under 13 to wear a life vest when they're boating.
In Alabama, children are required to wear life vests on pleasure boats. The state has more than 431,000 licensed boat drivers.
Federal statistics show that 210 children under 13 died while boating from 1995 to 2001, 121 of them by drowning.
Most people killed while boating are in their 20s and 30s, while children are more likely to drown in backyard swimming pools.