Accident Prevention and Rescue


Do not make sharp or wild turns.

Do not carry more passengers

Do not operate your personal watercraft in shallow water, because the intake will pick up

than your personal watercraft can safely hold. (Check the capacity plate.)

debris and clog the pump.

Drink water or soft drinks, not

Be aware of other boat traffic


and your skill level as an operator

Prevent fire and environmental

at all times.

damage by refueling correctly.

Check the weather and water conditions before going out.

Operators of personal watercraft who perform the following dangerous moves are breaking the California boating law and can be cited for reckless or negligent operation. Beyond breaking the law, these dangerous moves can result in serious injury or death to the operator, any passengers or others on the water.

✓ Tag and turn—this involves sharp and wild turns close to each other.

✓ Overtaking another vessel closely at high speeds.

✓ Wake jumping within 100 feet of another vessel.

✓ Following other boats too closely— leave a safe distance to allow time to maneuver and avoid a collision.

✓ Operating your personal water-craft in another boat's wake—the water may be whipped to a froth, which can affect how you steer.

✓ Chasing another personal water-craft in small circles.

Bad Weather

If you're caught in bad weather:

✓ Proceed with caution.

✓ Head for the nearest safe shore landing area.


If you are involved in an accident causing more than $500 in damage, or the loss of a vessel, you must report it to the California Department of Boating and Waterways within 10 days.

A formal report of a death or a missing person must be filed with the Department of Boating and Waterways within 48 hours.

Also, if an injury requires more than First Aid, you must file a formal report with the Department of Boating and Waterways within 48 hours.

45-Degree Angle

If the water becomes choppy, head into the waves at a slant, or about a 45-degree angle.



The moving parts of a personal watercraft are inside the craft, reducing your chances for injury. If a rider falls off a personal watercraft, most of the craft have one of the two following safety devices:

^ A cutoff switch will stop the engine when the operator falls off.

^ Or the engine will continue to idle and the steering mechanism will turn all the way to port or starboard, making the personal watercraft circle slowly nearby if the operator falls off.

^ In either case, the operator should carefully climb aboard the personal watercraft. If the personal watercraft has a lanyard, remember to reconnect it in order to restart the engine.


^ Right the craft the way the manufacturer recommends. Look for the label with this information on the stern of the PWC.

^ Board and restart the engine after you have connected the lanyard to the cut-off switch.


^ Wait a few minutes before trying to restart. The engine may be "flooded" or the fuel line may be clogged.

^ Do not attempt to repair the engine while you're on the water.

^ If the watercraft will not restart, stay with the personal watercraft until help comes.

^ Wave your arms, or use a whistle, mirror or other signaling device stored on board to attract attention.


^ Pull the fire extinguisher pin.

^ Aim the nozzle of the fire extinguisher at the base of the flame.

^ Squeeze the trigger.

^ Use a sweeping motion.


^ Swim a safe distance away from the personal watercraft to prevent injury in case of an explosion.

^ Signal others to keep away from the personal watercraft.

REVIEW QUESTIONS: Personal Watercraft

Answer these questions by circling the letter representing the correct answer.

1. Before casting off on your personal watercraft, you should:

a. Check to see if the trailer tires are properly inflated.

b. Check to see if the tie downs are tight and properly attached.

c. Check that the lanyard is attached to your wrist or life jacket.

d. Check that the fuel cock is in the "off" position.

2. Which of the following is true?

a. Personal watercraft cannot be operated between sunset and sunrise.

b. You cannot operate personal watercraft in deep water channels.

c. Personal watercraft cannot tow water skiers.

d. Personal watercraft cannot race.

3. When a personal watercraft operator wishes to cross the path of another vessel approaching from the right, he or she must:

a. Slow until the vessel passes, and cross behind it b. Speed up to cross in front of it so the other vessel has clear passage c. Kill the engine and wait for the other vessel to clear the area.

d. Signal with four long whistle blasts to alert the other vessel.

4. Registration numbers must be displayed using letters that are at least 3 inches high and that contrast the hull color T F

5. It is against the law to operate a personal watercraft equipped with a lanyard without properly attaching the lanyard T F

6. If your personal watercraft capsizes, you should right it following the manufacturer's instructions T F

Turn to page 88 for correct answers.

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How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience

How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience

Lets start by identifying what exactly certain boats are. Sometimes the terminology can get lost on beginners, so well look at some of the most common boats and what theyre called. These boats are exactly what the name implies. They are meant to be used for fishing. Most fishing boats are powered by outboard motors, and many also have a trolling motor mounted on the bow. Bass boats can be made of aluminium or fibreglass.

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