Most powerboats and PWC come equipped by the manufacturer with an emergency engine cut-off switch (ECOS). If properly worn, this safety device can shut off the engine if the operator falls off the vessel or is thrown from the proper operating position.
- A lanyard connects the ECOS to the operator’s wrist or PFD. When the lanyard is removed from the switch, the engine will shut off.
- Most states require the operator to use an ECOS at all times while operating a PWC. However, even if attaching the lanyard is not required by law, many lives could be saved by doing so.
- If your powerboat or PWC does not come equipped with an ECOS, 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.