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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.

  • All persons being towed behind a vessel on water skis or any other device must wear a USCG–approved (Type I, II, III, or V) PFD. Inflatable PFDs and ski belts are not approved PFDs for towed water sports such as skiing and wakeboarding. PFDs must be used in accordance with the USCG approval label.
  • 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 (To find the recommended capacity for your PWC, check the owner’s manual.)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 PWC 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.
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