Many water-skiers and boaters don't realize the potential hazards of waterskiing until it is too late. Familiarize yourself with these waterskiing safety tips:
- Learn how to “talk” to one another. Both the skier and boat operator should learn and use proper communication hand signals.
- Keep an eye on the skier. Texas law requires a watercraft with someone in tow to have either a mirror at least 4 inches by 4 inches or an observer at least 13 years of age. LCRA recommends using an observer to watch and assist the skier.
- Allow extra maneuvering room when towing a skier. Avoid potential hazards and don't ski in front of another boat or in small coves where the ability to maneuver is restricted.
- Ski in deep water and away from buoy markers. Avoid the shoreline, shallow areas and areas where there are several boats or people swimming.
- Stop the boat motor when near a skier in the water.
- After falling, hold up one ski so boaters can see you. A towboat should always stay close to a fallen skier.
- Wear a properly fitted, U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
- Display an orange flag on your boat. An orange flag warns other boaters that a water-skier is somewhere in the water nearby. Many boating supply retailers stock orange flags or can order them.
- Don’t ski in the dark. Skiing is prohibited from a half hour after sunset until a half hour before sunrise.