Lakecaster Online

Laws regulating personal watercraft
by PATRICIA HUMMEL

 

With the school year coming to a close and the desire of youngsters to get out on the lake, it's an appropriate time to remind parents of the regulations concerning personal watercraft, for the safety of your children and those around them. Children under the age of 13 must have a person 18 years or older on the watercraft with them and of course each must wear a personal flotation device. Any person 13 to 16 years of age must take a mandatory boaters education course and carry a photo identification onboard or have someone 18 years or older on board. All personal watercraft must be equipped with a fire extinguisher and a kill switch to shut down the motor. The kill switch must be attached to the rider or their clothing. All persons riding on the watercraft are required to wear an approved personal flotation device and anyone being pulled by a watercraft must also wear an approved personal flotation device. No one may operate a personal water craft at night (sunset to sunrise.) It is against the law to operate within 50 feet of another watercraft, motor boat, vessel, platform, person or shore except at headway speed and must not create a wake or swell. Jumping the wake or swell of another vessel recklessly or unnecessarily close is also against the law. All equipment requirements for regular motorboats also apply to personal watercraft. Please review these regulations with your youngsters.

Noncompliance could result in a citation. These regulations are written to try to avoid serious consequences such as bodily or even death.

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