(PWC) Personal Watercraft (PWC) Wave Runners, Jet Skis, Sea Doos,
Tigersharks---Personal Watercraft or PWC, go by many names, and
they all mean fun. They are found at most waterways these days.
In 2004, there were over 150,000 PWC registered in California!
PWC are fast, powerful, and fairly easy to operate, but they are
also involved in many boating accidents and injuries. With their
ever-increasing popularity it is important for all PWC users to
know how to operate them safely and with courtesy at all times.
Division of Boating and Waterways keeps statistics on boating
accidents that are available online at www.dbw.ca.gov.
These statistics paint a picture of PWC use and misuse. For example,
PWC account for 18% of registered vessels, but 25% of all boating
accidents in 2004 involved PWC. Of those PWC accidents, the majority
(70%) involved a collision with another vessel. There are three
main causes of PWC accidents: inexperience (58%), operating at
excessive speed (55%), and inattention on the part of the operator
(42%). Numbers in parentheses represent percentages of accidents
from each cause. Finally, there are two statistics that show a
real need for public education on the proper, safe and fun use
of PWC; over half of PWC accidents (55%) involved people who had
borrowed a vessel and another 21% had rented their equipment.
These accidents might not have occurred if the operators had taken
the time to read the owner's manual and safety literature that
most dealers provide after a sale, or taken a safe boating course.
You have made
the right decision by taking this course! PWC offer the operator
an exhilarating sport. You'll have fun on your PWC if you treat
it like any other boat---with skill and respect. This course will
tell you how to operate your PWC safely, prevent accidents, be
aware of hazards, and use courtesy and good judgment so you can
enjoy your PWC to the fullest.