Requirements to Tow a Person With a Vessel
Vessel operators towing a person(s) on water skis, aquaplanes, surfboards, inner tubes, or any similar devices have specific equipment and observer requirements.
- Every vessel towing a person(s) on water skis or other devices must have on board, in addition to the operator, an observer watching the progress of the person being towed and capable of relaying messages to the operator.
- Each person being towed behind a vessel on water skis, an aquaplane, or a similar device must wear a properly fitting flotation device. USCG–approved Type I, II, or III PFDs are recommended; but a ski belt, water sports jacket, or foam wetsuit jacket will be accepted.
- If towing a skier with a PWC, the PWC should be rated for at least three people—the operator, the observer, and the retrieved skier.
- The observer or operator of a vessel towing a person(s) on water skis or other devices must display a red or orange “skier-down” flag whenever the towed person(s) or associated equipment is down in the water. The flag must be displayed so that it is clearly visible.