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.