Personal Watercraft Safety Course

Personal Watercraft Safety Course

P ersonal W atercraft (PWC)

Wave Runners, Jet Skis, Sea-Doos. Personal watercraft, or PWCs, come in many makes and models, all of which promise the operator a good time on the water. They are found on most waterways these days and in 2016, there were more than 70,000 PWCs registered in California. PWCs are fast, powerful and fairly easy to operate, but they are also involved in many boating accidents and injuries. With their ever-increas- ing popularity, it is important for all PWC users to know how to operate their crafts safely and with courtesy at all times. California boating accident statistics paint a picture of PWC use and misuse. For example, PWCs account for only 10% of registered vessels, but were involved in 17% of all boating accidents reported in 2016. Of those PWC accidents, the majority (62%) involved a collision with another vessel or fixed object. There are three main causes of PWC accidents: inexperience, operating at excessive speeds, and inattention on the part of the operator. Finally, there are two 2016 statistics that show a real need for public education on the proper, safe and fun use of PWC: almost half of PWC accidents (44%) involved people who had borrowed a vessel and 28% 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, that rental companies should provide, or had taken an approved safe boating course and obtained a California Boater Card (see page 14 of this course). You have made the right decision to learn about PWC safety. PWCs offer the operator an exhilarating sporting experience. You’ll have fun on your PWC if you operate 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.

STATE OF CALIFORNIA California Natural Resources Agency California State Parks DIVISION OF BOATING ANDWATERWAYS


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