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Virginia Watercraft Owner's Guide

Water Skiing Safety

The boating law contains several provisions relating to the towing of persons on water skis, aquaplanes, and similar devices; and the manipulation of such devices by the person being towed.

  1. All boats towing a water skier(s) or other persons on towed devices MUST have ONE of the following:
    • a. Persons being towed must be wearing a USCG approved life jacket or
    • b. There must be an observer on the boat (in addition to the operator) who is in a position to observe the progress of the skier.
  2. A person(s) being towed on water skis or other device may not operate in a reckless or dangerous manner.
  3. A person(s) being towed on water skis or other device may not operate while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including prescription narcotics and illegal drugs.
  4. The operator of the boat towing a water skier(s) or person(s) on another towing device may not manipulate or control the boat so as to cause the person( s) being towed to collide with any object or person.
  5. Water skiing (or towing of people on other devices) is allowed only between one-half hour before sunrise to onehalf hour after sunset. Check the official sunrise and sunset times for your area.