Most PWC and powerboats come equipped by the manufacturer with a device called the emergency engine cut-off switch (ECOS). This safety device is designed to shut off the engine if the operator is thrown from the normal operating position.
- A lanyard is attached to the ECOS and the operator of the vessel, generally on the wrist or PFD. If the operator is thrown, the ECOS shuts off the engine. If your vessel does not have an ECOS, it is recommended to have one installed.
- It is illegal to operate a PWC on the waters of this state without properly attaching the lanyard between the ECOS and the operator.
- As of April 2021, the Elijah E. Cummings Coast Guard Act of 2020 requires the operator of motorized vessels under 26 feet in length, with an engine capable of 115 pounds or more of static thrust, which equates to about 3 horsepower, to wear an ECOS link (lanyard) while operating above no-wake speed. This is a federal regulation that applies on all federally controlled waters but is recommended on all waters of this state. For more information regarding this new federal regulation and how it may impact you, please visit the United States Coast Guard Boat Responsibly website.