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Course Outline

Observer Watching Persons Being Towed

Vessel operators towing a person(s) on water skis, aquaplanes, surfboards, inner tubes, or any similar devices have specific equipment and observer requirements.

  • Each person being towed behind a vessel on water skis or similar devices must wear a properly secured USCG–approved PFD. Ski belts are not USCG–approved. It is the legal responsibility of the owner of the towing vessel to enforce this requirement.
  • Every vessel (except PWC) towing a person(s) on water skis or a similar device must:
    • Have on board a capable observer, other than the operator, who is at least 12 years old or...
    • Be equipped with a wide-angle rearview mirror. The size of the mirror must be at least 500 square centimeters (78 square inches) and have a field of vision of at least 170 degrees.
  • Every PWC towing a person(s) on water skis or a similar device must have mirrors mounted on both the right and left sides of the PWC (but not attached to the steering control). The mirrors must be at least 2.5 inches high by 4 inches wide.
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