Throw Bags, Type IV Throwables and Potential Changes to the Federal Regulations

This panel discussion focuses on current discussions happening among the USCG Boating Safety Advisory Council around a Coast Guard Reauthorization requirement to consider throw bags in certain recreational boating applications. Many of the western states have very active whitewater industries and it has become apparent that throwable personal floatation devices (PFDs) on whitewater rivers are far less effective than throw bags when rescuing persons in the water. 

In contrast, Type IV throwable devices currently required to be carried may increase the risk to the subject in the water when coupled with swimming ability and/or water and weather conditions. Based on a review of data submitted on Performance Report Part II, officers don’t seem to provide much credence to the need to have a Type IV Throwable Device onboard most any vessel. In this discussion, the panel will explore the history behind the reauthorization language, the use of throw bags in whitewater application and possible modification to federal preemption, and an alternative proposal that would more broadly apply to all vessels under 26’ in length and the carriage of the Type IV throwable.  

Cody Jones

Boating Law Administrator, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Cody is an Assistant Commander Game Warden assigned as the state of Texas Boating Law Administrator. Cody also serves on NASBLA’s Executive Board as the current Vice President of the Association. Cody is a native of Texas and resides in Dripping Springs with his wife Honey and three children Kylie, Cage and Cullen.

Robin Pope

Instructor Trainer Educator, American Canoe Association

Robin Pope has been involved with boating and water safety education for nearly 40 years. He is an instructor trainer educator for the American Canoe Association (ACA) in both swiftwater rescue and whitewater kayaking, and has served in a number of leadership roles within the ACA. He acted as a subject matter expert in the development of the National On-Water Standards, helping to write both the human-propelled and the instructional approach standards, and served on NASBLA’s Education Standards Panel (ESP) for five years. Currently, Pope is a member of the National Boating Safety Advisory Council (NBSAC), chair of NBSAC’s Prevention Through People subcommittee and Branch Chief for the USCG Auxiliary’s AUXPAD Afloat program. 

Ty Hunter

BLA, Utah Division of State Parks & Recreation

Ty Hunter received a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation Resources Management from Utah State University in 1997 and completed Utah Peace Officers’ Standards and Training in 1998.  

Hunter started his career with the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation in December of 1997 as a park ranger at Willard Bay State Park. He was promoted in October 2002 to the position of assistant manager at Yuba State Park. In June of 2003, Hunter became the park manager at Utah Lake State Park. After 10 years of service as a park manager, he was promoted to his current position as captain, overseeing the boating program for the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation and Boating Law Administrator for the state of Utah. Hunter is also the Underwater Remote Operated Vehicle Coordinator for the division.  

Over his 22 year career, Hunter has observed many water-related incidents that resulted in the loss of life. He have interacted with many families and seen the hurt that the loss of a loved one causes. This is why he am passionate about water and boating safety and hope that through his efforts to promote life jacket safety that at least one life can be saved and their family will not need to experience such loss.  

When Hunter is not at work he enjoy being with his family, participating in a variety of outdoor activities, playing games, and tinkering around the house.