About the Study Guide

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In addition to adhering to all boating laws, personal watercraft (PWC) operators have requirements specific to their vessel.

Lanyard connecting the safety switch to the operator's wrist
  • Any person riding on or being towed behind a PWC must wear a USCG–approved Type I, II, III, or V life jacket. Exceptions are made for those performing or participating in an official regatta, marine parade, tournament or exhibition.
  • If the PWC is equipped with a lanyard-type ignition safety switch must be attached to the person, clothing or PFD of the operator. Operating a PWC equipped with a self-circling device is prohibited if the self-circling device has been altered.
  • It is illegal to operate a PWC between sunset and sunrise, even if the PWC is equipped with proper navigation lights.
  • PWCs should not be operated in a reckless or negligent manner. Examples of unsafe operation are:
    • Turning a PWC sharply so as to spray another person or vessel
    • Operating at a rate of speed and proximity to another vessel so that either operator must swerve at the last minute to avoid collision
    • Jumping or attempting to jump the wake of another vessel within 100 ft. of that vessel
  • It is illegal to chase, harass or disturb wildlife with your PWC.