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Except as provided, no person under 16 years of age shall operate a personal watercraft (PWC). Individuals not less than 12, nor more than 15 years of age may operate a PWC if a supervising person 18 years of age or older is also on board. In the case of a supervising person born on or after January 1, 1982, the supervising person must also hold a certificate meeting the requirements of ORC 1547.05 and in the case of rented powercraft, must meet the requirements of ORC 1547.052.

A man giving PWC instruction to a young girl

Persons under 12 years of age:

  • Shall not operate any vessel unless under the direct visual and audible supervision of a person who is 18 years of age or older. This section does not apply to personal watercraft (see above) or other powercraft powered by more than 10 horsepower (see below).
  • May not operate a personal watercraft.
  • Shall not operate any other powercraft powered by more than 10 horsepower unless under the direct visual and audible supervision of a person 18 years of age or older who is aboard the powercraft. In addition, if the supervising person is born on or after January 1, 1982, the supervising person must hold a certificate meeting the requirements of ORC 1547.05. Also, in the case of a rented powercraft, the supervising person must meet the requirements of ORC 1547.052.

No supervising person shall allow any person they are supervising to violate any watercraft law.