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PWC towing a wakeboarder

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

  • All persons being towed behind a vessel on water skis or any other device must wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved Type I, II, III, or V PFD. Inflatable PFDs and ski belts are not approved PFDs for water-skiing.
  • Every vessel towing a person(s) on water skis, an aquaplane, or any similar device other than a parasail must have either:
    • A person on board, in addition to the operator, observing the towed person(s) at all times or...
    • A wide-angle rearview ski mirror designed to allow the operator to observe the towed person at all times. Note that factory-installed mirrors on PWCs may not meet this requirement.
  • Every vessel that is towing a person on a parasail or similar device must have a person, in addition to the operator, observing the towed person(s) at all times. Rearview mirrors are not acceptable when towing persons on parasails.