While towing a skier, the operator should:
- Keep the skier at a safe distance—at least twice the length of the tow rope—from the shoreline, docks, hazards, and people in the water.
- Avoid congested areas, beaches, docks, and swimming areas. Water-skiing takes a lot of room. Some areas may have designated traffic patterns.
- Maintain a sharp lookout for other boats and obstructions in the water. Let the observer watch the skier.
- Always respond to the skier’s signals. If you need to turn the boat, signal the skier of your intentions.
- Once the skier has dropped or fallen, circle the skier slowly either to return the tow line to the skier or to pick up the skier. Always keep the skier in view and on the operator’s side of the boat. Some states require the display of a red or orange skier-down flag to alert other boats that a skier is down.
- To avoid propeller injuries, always shut off the engine before allowing the skier to board the boat. After the skier is on board, retrieve the tow line unless you are pulling another skier.