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Course Outline

Observer Watching Persons Being Towed

Vessel operators towing a person(s) on water skis, wakeboards, tubes, kneeboards, aquaplanes, or any other 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, or III life jacket. Ski belts are not approved life jackets and are illegal.
  • In addition to the operator, an observer must be on board to observe the progress of the person being towed. The observer must be at least 13 years old, able to determine when a skier is in trouble, and able to assist the skier.
  • No more than six persons may be towed on one or more inflatable tubes and no more than two persons may be towed on water skis, aquaplanes, or other devices from the same motorboat at the same time. When three or more persons are being towed, two observers, in addition to the operator, shall be in the towing vessel. Such observers shall be 13 years of age or older.
  • 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.
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