Personal Watercraft (PWC) in California
Personal Watercraft (PWC)
In addition to the requirements previously stated:
- Each person on a PWC or being towed by a PWCmust wear a USCG approved life jacket specific for the activity.
- The law requires anyone operating a PWC equipped with a lanyard cut-off switch to attach the lanyard to his or her person, clothing or life jacket. Operating a PWC equipped with a self-circling device is prohibited if the device has been altered.
- To operate a PWC designed for one person, the operator must be 16 years of age or older. A person 12-15 years of age may operate a PWC designed to carry two or more persons if the operator is supervised on board by a person 18 years of age or older.
- It is illegal to operate a PWC from sunset to sunrise.
- You may not carry more passengers than the number for which the craft was designed to carry by the manufacturer. When towing someone on a tube or on water skis, the PWC must have the appropriate capacity to accommodate the operator, the observer, and the person being towed.
- Under California law, no person shall operate any craft in a reckless or negligent manner. It is prohibited to:
- Follow another vessel or skier too closely.
- Jump another vessel's wake within 100 feet of the vessel creating the wake.
- Drive in excess of 5 mph within 200 feet of a beach
- Speeding within 100 feet of swimmers.
- Cut between a boat and the person being towed.
- Navigate a vessel, skis or other devices between a towing vessel and its tow or tows.
- Operate under the influence of intoxicants or narcotics.
- Turn sharply so that it sprays the person or vessel.
- Operate at a rate of speed and so close to another vessel that either operator is required to swerve at the last minute to avoid collision.