In the past five years, almost 33,000 people were treated in emergency rooms for jet ski- and waverunner-related injuries.

Jet skis 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.

Safety Tips

  • Children under the age of 16 should not operate a waverunner.
  • Take a safe boating course and have your child/children take a safe boating course.
  • Always have a life jacket (or personal flotation safety device) on board for each passenger.
  • Make sure that your life jacket and your passenger’s life jackets 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.