Watersports towing safety tips
Spending the day pulling friends and family on the water can be fun, but make sure you follow these watersports towing safety tips to keep your riders safe.
Today, boaters can tow an array of recreational watersports devices behind their boats, from wakeboards, wake skates and kneeboards—all with special tow rings and lines—to rafts and inner tubes. Because of their popularity, towable devices call for extra care and attention.
Have everyone always wear appropriately sized life jackets. Prepare for the unexpected such as towlines coming loose and hidden obstructions that bounce riders around.
The exhaust from a gasoline-powered tow boat can also be dangerous. According to the Center for Disease Control, open-air carbon monoxide exposure to exhaust from gasoline-powered generators on houseboats can cause serious illness and death. You can also get CO poisoning from direct exposure to the exhaust of a ski boat or recreational towing boat.
Says the CDC, “Ambient CO concentrations have been measured as high as 27,000 parts per million (ppm) in the stern of boats involved in CO-poisoning fatalities. In comparison, the World Health Organization has set a ceiling limit on a person’s exposure to CO at 87 ppm during a 15-minute interval.”
So, when you buy that cute little towable device for the kids or grandchildren, be extra careful. Make sure they’re nowhere near the source of emissions while they’re enjoying an afternoon of fun on the water.
And remember, propellers are dangerous! When operating near people in the water, turn off the engine and place the drive in gear to stop propeller rotation. (Learn more about how to prevent propeller strikes.) –Pam Gibson
Feel at home on the water
Learn to boat with confidence by taking the Boat Handling course online from America’s Boating Club.