causes of accidents and injuries
to do in case of a capsize or in case of fire
Prevention and Rescue
not make sharp or erratic turns.
not operate your PWC in shallow water because the intake may
pick up debris and clog the pump.
aware of other boat traffic and your abilities as an operator
at all times.
how to right a capsized PWC and how to properly reboard.
the rules of the road.
the weather and water conditions before going out and throughout
not carry more passengers or weight than the PWC's capacity.
water, juice or soft drinks (non-caffeinated), not alcohol.
Prevent fire and environmental damage by following correct
of Accidents and Injuries
most common causes of accidents with PWC include the following:
Inattention or Lack of Experience
not realizing limitations of your boating skill, not paying
attention to the conditions, not looking out for other boaters
or others in the water and/or lack of judgment are the major
causes of PWC accidents. All of these are easily preventable
by being cautious, using good judgment and staying alert.
Speed, Stopping Distance and Risk of Collision
lack any means of stopping since they have no brakes. You will
keep moving forward for several seconds after releasing the
throttle depending on your original speed. Combine excessive
speed and the lack of brakes and you have a dangerous combination.
It is important to be alert to the fact that it will take time
and distance to come to a complete stop in order to decrease
the risk of a collision with another boat, people in the water
or other obstructions.
of Power and Loss of Steering
must be maintained to steer a PWC because the jet pump nozzle
provides not only propulsion but also steering. If power is
not maintained for any reason, the PWC will continue in the
original direction of travel even if the operator turns the
handle bars. Without power, the operator will lose steering
control of the PWC. Therefore, it is important to be
alert and always be prepared to leave enough time to carefully
steer away from a person, vessel, or object.
Jumping, Spraying and Other Dangerous Moves
the wake of a vessel within 100 feet of that vessel is not allowed.
Dangerous moves are not only illegal, but they are also significant
contributors to PWC accidents. See the Dangerous Moves section.
use of alcohol or drugs will impair your judgment and physical
ability to operate your vessel safely. Don't operate your PWC
anytime you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs!
of PWC who engage in the following activities (perform the following
dangerous moves) are in violation of the California Boating
Law and can be cited for reckless or negligent operation. Citations
may involve a fine and/or have a negative impact on your driving
record. Local law enforcement may "terminate" your
ride, this means you may be forced to leave the waterway for
the day or longer.
and turn. This involves sharp and erratic turns in close proximity
to other vessels.
another vessel at high speeds.
jumping within 100 feet of another vessel. Not only is a collision
a possibility, but you may not be able to see someone or something
on the other side of the wake.
your friends, other vessels or people in the water.
other boats too closely. Leave a safe distance to allow time
to maneuver and avoid a collision.
too closely beside another rider. An unpredicted turn, unexpected
wave action or other event could cause a collision.
your PWC in the wake of another boat. The water may be aerated
which can effect your steering and maneuverability.
another PWC in small circles.
types of activities increase the risk of accidents. The potential
danger and almost certain annoyance to others may leave them
with a bad impression, and can lead to conflicts on the water
and efforts to ban or restrict PWC use on the waterways.
should constantly monitor weather and water conditions as both
can change quickly. Keeping on eye on incoming clouds, noting
increasing wind or observing changing water conditions can prevent
you becoming a victim of bad weather.
you are caught in bad weather:
the water becomes choppy, head into the waves at about a 45
degree angle. This is the most comfortable way of getting over
steep waves and lessens the chance of a rider falling off the
your PWC capsizes and/or you fall off the vessel
parts of a PWC are internal, minimizing the potential for injury.
In the event that a rider falls off the PWC, most have one of
the two following safety mechanisms:
- A cutoff
switch that stops the engine when the operator falls off.
The engine will continue to idle and the steering mechanism
will turn all the way to port or starboard causing the PWC
to circle slowly nearby.
the PWC capsizes, right the craft in the direction the manufacturer
recommends. There is usually a sticker diagram on the stern
of the PWC showing the proper direction to right the craft.
Failure to right your PWC properly may result in water entering
either case, the operator and passengers should carefully
reboard the PWC. Be careful to avoid the steering nozzle,
water intakes and any other part of the PWC that may cause
sure to remember to reconnect the lanyard in order to restart
your PWC has stalled and will not restart
a few minutes before trying to restart again. The engine may
be "flooded" or the fuel line may be clogged.
the lanyard, it may be improperly attached or not attached
not attempt to do repairs on the engine while on the water.
the watercraft will not restart, stay with the PWC until help
your arms, use a whistle, mirror or other signaling device
stored on board to attract attention.
there is a fire aboard a PWC and you can safely reach a fire
the fire extinguisher pin.
the nozzle of the fire extinguisher at the base of the flames.
Squeeze the trigger.
a sweeping motion from side to side with short bursts.
you cannot reach the fire extinguisher
boats that hold an incredible amount of fun and enjoyment for
the user if used properly and safely. Good judgment, courtesy,
knowledge of boating rules and regulations, and knowledge of
your individual craft are all critical elements for safe use.
information in this course is a good first step towards many
years of safe and enjoyable boating!