Requirements to Tow a Person With a Vessel
Vessel operators towing a person(s) using a parasail or on water skis, a surfboard, or a similar device have specific equipment and observer requirements.
- Each person being towed must wear a USCG–approved PFD.
- It is illegal for a vessel to tow a person(s) on water skis, a surfboard, a parasail, or a similar device unless one of the following conditions is met.
- A person at least 8 years old, in addition to the vessel operator, is on board observing the towed person(s) or…
- The vessel is equipped with an approved rearview mirror or mirrors so that the operator of the vessel can observe the progress of the person(s) being towed while facing forward.
- If the vessel is not a PWC, one wide-angle convex rearview mirror must be installed.
- If the vessel is a PWC, two wide-angle convex rearview mirrors must be installed.
- Persons being towed are considered passengers of the towing vessel.
- Vessels towing water-skiers or participating in a similar activity must be able to retrieve all persons being towed safely without exceeding the recommended capacity.
- 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.
- It is illegal to operate a PWC or similar device capable of being remote-controlled by the skier unless such device is factory-equipped with an engine cut-off switch capable of shutting off the engine in the event the skier becomes detached from the PWC.