Requirements to Tow a Person With a Vessel
Vessel operators towing a person(s) on water skis, surfboards, or any similar devices have specific equipment and observer requirements.
- All persons being towed must wear a USCG–approved Type I, II, or III PFD. The only exception is for persons engaged in barefoot water-skiing. These persons, at their own risk, may wear a non–USCG–approved barefoot wetsuit designed for that purpose.
- Every boat (other than a PWC) towing a person(s) on water skis or a similar device must have on board:
- An observer, other than the vessel operator, 12 years of age or older or...
- A wide-angle rearview mirror mounted such that the operator can observe the person(s) being towed.
- Every PWC towing a person(s) on water skis or a similar device must:
- Have a rear-facing observer on board who is 12 years of age or older and...
- Be rated for at least three people: the operator, the observer, and the retrieved skier.