Requirements Specific to PWCs
In addition to adhering to all boating laws, personal watercraft (PWC) operators have requirements specific to their vessel.
- Each person riding on or towed behind a PWC must wear a U.S. Coast Guard–approved Type I, II, or III personal flotation device.
- If the PWC is equipped with an ignition safety switch, the switch must be functional and the lanyard must be attached to the operator.
- PWCs also must have on board:
- A horn or whistle that can make a sound signal audible for at least one-half mile and lasting two seconds or more
- A visual distress signal (a one-foot-square fluorescent orange flag or another USCG–approved day signal)
- PWC owners must not remove any manufacturer-installed backfire flame arrestor or ventilator.