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Course Outline

Observer Watching Persons Being Towed

Vessel operators towing a person(s) on water skis, aquaplanes, kneeboards, inner tubes, or any other device 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, or III PFD.
  • It is illegal for a vessel to tow a person(s) on water skis, a surfboard, or any other device unless:
    • A person at least 12 years old, in addition to the vessel operator, is on board observing the towed person(s) or...
    • The vessel has a wide-angle (160-degree field of vision) rearview mirror mounted such that the operator can observe the towed person(s) at all times.
  • The vessel must have adequate seating for all riders, including the retrieved skier. If towing a skier with a PWC, the PWC must be rated for at least three people—the operator, the observer, and the retrieved skier.
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