OHSU

Jet Skiing

Jet skis or personal watercraft (PWC) are considered boats, and operators must obey all boating rules while on the water. Since January 1, 2000, all individuals who operate a personal watercraft must have completed a certified boater safety course.

All jet ski operators must obey these rules and regulations:

  • Children 12-15 must have taken a boating safety course, have their boater education card with them, and must be directly supervised by a card-holding adult over 18 (must ride on the vessel with the youth). 
  • The operator must be 16 or older to operate alone. 
  • The operator must wear an approved life jacket and carry a sound producing device.

Safety Tips – for kids and adults

  • Make sure to play away from the shore, other vessels, and keep a sharp lookout.   Specific speed and proximity rules apply to PWCs.  Visit http://www.boatoregon.com for laws and regulations.
  • Make sure that your life jacket and your passenger’s life jacket fit properly and support your individual weights. (See Life Jacket Safety Chart.)
  • Never mix jet skiing and alcohol.
  • Always make sure an adult is watching you and/or your child from the shore.
  • When driving a jet ski with a passenger, make sure your passenger is ready to go before you start.
  • When riding a jet ski when someone else is driving, make sure that you are holding on tightly. Inform the driver if your hands slip or if you are not ready to go.
  • Never start your engine without attaching the cord that is connected to the start/stop switch or your key to your life jacket or wrist. If you fall off, the machine will automatically stop.
  • Each rider should wear eye protection, a wetsuit (in colder weather), footwear and gloves.
  • Always watch for bad weather conditions.
  • Keep hands, feet, hair and clothing away from the pump intake.
  • Never operate a jet ski in water that’s less than 24 inches deep.
  • Know your water terrain.

For more information:

503 418-5666
safety@ohsu.edu

Location:

Doernbecher Children's Hospital Lobby
700 SW Campus Drive Portland, OR 97239

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