Few boating activities are as exciting and enjoyable as speeding over the water on water skis, a wakeboard or inflatable tube while being towed by a fast-moving boat.
But while watersports are a fun-filled part of boating, boaters need to take precautions to make sure they are done safely. Here are a few tips on how to do that.
• Anyone being towed by a boat needs to wear a Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device.
• You may want to look back at the rider, but if you are driving the boat, you need to keep an eye on what is in front of you. Instead, use a spotter to keep visual contact with the rider.
• Good communication is vital. If the rider and those on the boat can’t hear each other, establish hand signals.
• The driver should be aware of the surroundings to avoid shallow water, beaches and objects. Be aware of and keep a safe distance between you and other boats in the area.
• Riders should never wrap part of the tow rope around their body. It can cause serious injury.
• Drivers should turn off the engine when people are boarding the boat to avoid a propeller injury.
• Drinking while operating a boat is illegal and dangerous. It is especially dangerous when watersports are involved. Don’t do it.