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PWC towing a wakeboarder
  • In addition to adhering to laws as they apply to all vessels, operators towing a person(s) on water-skis or a similar device must follow these rules:
  • Any person being towed behind a vessel 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.
    • Inflatable life jackets are not approved for use while water-skiing.
    • A water-ski wetsuit may be worn by any person engaged in barefoot, jump, trick or slalom skiing on a marked course, as long as a USCG–approved Type I, II, III, or V life jacket. is carried on the tow vessel for each skier electing to wear a wetsuit.
  • It is illegal for vessels to tow skiers, skiboards, or any device of this type between sunset and sunrise. Local laws may also restrict skiing at certain times and in certain areas.
  • Water-skis, aquaplanes and similar devices must not be operated in a manner which endangers the safety of persons or property. Passing the towline over another vessel or skier or navigating a skier or vessel between a vessel and its tow are specifically prohibited.
  • Every vessel towing a person(s) on water-skis or a similar device must have a person on board, in addition to the operator, who can observe the person being towed. This observer must be at least 12 years of age.
  • The operator of a vessel involved in towing a skier must display a ski flag whenever:
    • A downed skier is in the water.
    • A skier is in the water preparing to ski.
    • A ski rope is extended from the vessel.
    • A ski is in the water in the vicinity of the vessel.