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 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.