Are you familiar with your State rule regarding Personal Water Craft (PWC) wake jumping?
Each State has different regulations referring to this activity. The ruling came about due to unsafe and negligent operations of Personal Water Craft riders. They would misjudge andjump into the back of the boat they were following.
Risk are heavy and complaints were numerous from boaters who were intimidated by this behavior. Striking a boat, man overboard or the operator causing serious injury to themselves and passengers.
Here is a list of USA States boating law regarding Personal Water Craft / Rescue Water Craft wake jumping.
Be sure to check in with your State boating law administrator to ensure the rulings are updated and you are current in your knowledge base.
33-5-51(d) ....jumping the wake of another vessel travelling in the same direction in close proximity to the vessel...crossing at right angles in close proximity to the stern of another vessel or when visibility around the other vessel is obstructed...
A PWC cannot head into the wake of a motorboat that is within a zone of proximity closer than sixty feet and cause one-half or more of the length of the personal watercraft to leave the water.
Unsafe PWC operation shall include but not be limited to: becoming airborne or completely leaving the water while crossing the wake of another vessel within 100ft of the vessel creating the wake.
No wake jumping within 100 feet of the another vessel creating the wake.
Careless boating is defined to include wake jumping at an unsafe distance or whenever visibility is obstructed.
can't jump within 100' behind a boat if it causes you to go airborne.
must be 100 yards slow no wake in incorporated area, no jumping shore break
District of Columbia
No operator of any personal watercraft while underway and within one hundred (100) yards of another vessel shall jump any other vessel´s wake while operating or in physical control of watercraft while on the District of Columbia´s waterway. When two (2) or more personal water operators are operating at a speed greater than ten (10) miles per hour, the operators shall steer their craft so as to be at least twenty-five (25) yards apart from any vessel to include any other personal watercraft.
Jumping the wake of another vessel unreasonably or unnecessarily close to such other vessel or when visibility around such other vessel is obstructed is prohibited.
Within 100 feet of another vessel
per federal regs
Can be considered negligent operation under some circumstances
It is unlawful to jump the wake of another watercraft.
Must maintain a reasonable and prudent distance behind the vessel.
A person operating a PWC shall not jump a wake in a way tha endangers human life, human physical safety or property.
A person is guilty of imprudent operation of a watercraft if that person engages in prolonged circling, informal racing, wake jumping or other continued and repeated activities that harass another person.
Pwc's may not jump or attempt to jump the wake of another vessel within 100' of the vessel. This is considered negligent operation
The "unreasonable" jumping the wake of another boat is prohibited.
No wake jumping within 150 feet of the stern of the other boat.
Jumping the wake of a vessel when visibility is obstructed. Becoming airborne while crossing the wake of another motorboat within 100 feet of that motorboat.
crossing or jumping the wak of another vessel when within 100 yards of the vessel or within 100 yards of a waterskier being towed by a vessel
PWC cannot jump the wake of a boat pulling skiers or tubers. PWC cannont jump wake of a boat within 50 yards of the boat.
Vessels must stay 5 lengths away from longest vessel.
Vessel cannot be totally airborne when jumping wakes.
cannot jump wake w/i 100' of vessel creating wake
within 150 feet of any other cruising vessels.
g. Every personal watercraft and specialty prop-craft shall at all times be operated in a reasonable and prudent manner. Maneuvers which unreasonably or unnecessarily endanger life, limb, or property, including, but not limited to, (i) weaving through congested vessel traffic, or (ii) jumping the wake of another vessel unreasonably or unnecessarily close to such other vessel or when visibility around such other vessel is obstructed, or (iii) swerving at the last possible moment to avoid collision shall constitute reckless operation of a vessel.
A personal watercraft must at all times be operated in a reasonable and prudent manner. Maneuvers that endanger life, limb, or property shall constitute reckless operation of a vessel as provided in G.S. 75A
Jumping the wake of another watercraft within one hundred feet of the other watercraft.
Becomming air borne while crossing the wake of another vessel within 100 ft or unsafe distance.
No person shall operate any vessel in a reckless or negligent manner so as to endanger life or property of any person. No person shall operate any vessel at speeds over ten MPH while within 50 feet in proximity to another vessel.
Please check in each year with your State in case new laws are regulations have been udpated.
Posted: June 23, 2019
Content Creator of Rescue Water Craft and Personal Water Craft boating international education standards: Shawn Alladio is the world’s foremost authority and leading subject matter expert. She cares most about her community and the culture surrounding the safety of event service providers and Rescue Water Craft operators, working hard and dedicated towards protecting their reputation, distributing safety information and continuing to train these amazing individuals to the highest standards of care.
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Use at your own risk. Please take a qualified Rescue Water Craft training course and maintain proper records and respect all the PWC, RWC, PPE, and gear OEM manufacturer warning labels and cautions.