Towing a Person With a Vessel Legally
In addition to adhering to laws as they apply to all vessels, operators towing a person(s) on water skis or a similar device must obey these laws.
- It is illegal for vessels to tow persons on water skis or any device of this type between sunset and sunrise.
- Children 12 years old and younger being towed must wear a U.S. Coast Guard–approved, appropriately sized Type I, II, or III PFD.
- Vessels towing a person(s) on water skis or a similar device must carry on board a red or orange skier-down flag and display it whenever the skier is in the water.
- The operator of the towing vessel and the skier must not operate in a manner that endangers the safety of persons or property. Also, they must not operate while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Every vessel towing a person on water skis or a similar device must have a person, in addition to the operator, continuously observing the towed person.
- If the towing vessel is a PWC, the PWC must be rated for at least three people—the operator, the observer, and the retrieved skier.
- It is illegal to tow a person(s) holding onto any portion of the boat aft of the transom (including a step, ladder, platform, or deck) while underway.