Chapter 3: Operating Your Boat—Safely
Safety (Engine Shut-Off) Switches
Most powerboats and PWCs come equipped by the manufacturer with an emergency ignition safety switch. This safety device can shut off the engine if the operator falls off the PWC or out of the powerboat, or is otherwise thrown from the proper operating position.
Use of Ignition Safety Switches Helps Prevent Propeller Strikes
Each year, many boating accidents involve an operator and/or passengers who fall overboard for a variety of reasons. Wearing an ignition safety switch lanyard not only ensures that your boat or PWC stays close if you fall overboard, but it also prevents you from being run over by your own boat. When the operator isn't wearing a lanyard, the unmanned boat tends to run in hard, fast circles, often resulting in a severe injury or death from a propeller strike. Wearing the lanyard reduces the risk of a propeller injury and makes it easier to reboard the boat.