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PWC lanyard attached to engine shut-off switch

Most powerboats and PWC come equipped by the manufacturer with an emergency engine cut-off switch. This safety device can shut off the engine if the operator falls off the PWC or out of the powerboat, or is otherwise thrown from the proper operating position.

  • The engine cut-off switch works by attaching a lanyard between the operator and the switch. If the lanyard is removed from the switch, the engine will shut off.
  • If a PWC has an engine cut-off switch, most states require the operator to attach the lanyard. However, even if attaching the lanyard is not required by law, many lives could be saved by doing so.
  • If your PWC or “ski craft” does not come equipped with an engine cut-off switch, you should have one installed.
  • Your PWC may have a self-circling feature. If the operator is thrown from the PWC, the engine idles while the PWC slowly circles so that the operator can reboard. Be sure the idle speed is set correctly.