Personal Watercraft Guidelines
Requirements for PWC operation
- PFD Personal Floatation Device – Coast Guard approved, such as O’Neill or Body Glove
- Knife, whistle, belt with fins, mask and snorkel in case tow rope or debris is tangled in shaft or impeller
- Bow line with clip, quick-release clip
- Two-way communication device on board (radio to shore and check in every hour)
- Properly registered and maintained PWC
- Quick release tow rope
- Rescue sled
- Float Plan – tell someone where you are and when; partners should have agreed-upon hand and eye signals and should use them
- Tools with extra spark plugs
Potential Dangers in PWC operation
- Always be aware of your surroundings. You are not as alone as you think, no matter how far out you are.
- Negligent operation – dangerous driver
- BUI (boating under the influence) – can incur a criminal penalty
- Excessive speed – In Hawaii there are plenty of divers in deep water , some without dive flags as required by law.
- Other hazards – piers, rocks, other boats, kelp
- Always avoid running over yours or someone else’s tow rope. Keep a safe distance away.
Rules of PWC operation
- Public Beaches where surfers and swimmers participate in ocean activities are out of bounds (swimming areas, surfing areas) for PWCs.
- The beach is not a gas station! Do not fill up your PWC gas tank on the beach. Not only is it illegal, but spilling gas into the ocean is an environmental problem.
- Go port to port or right to right (go around each other from the right to avoid collision).
- Law enforcement – Call the police if the situation is out of your hands.
- If you are riding a ski and are leading several skis in single file, make sure to drive at a safe speed, spot all obstacles and divers and warn the skis behind you to avoid those areas. As the driver you need to pay attention to all things and communicate with the other people you are riding with.
- DRIVE SAFE, DRIVE SMART. SPEED IS THE WAY YOU GET HURT OR HURT SOMEONE ELSE!!!