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Boating is a favorite summer pastime for many Arizonans. When you’re on the water, though, your safety and the safety of others depend on the smart use of boats and boating equipment. As with traffic and motor vehicle laws, Arizona has laws covering boating that define the most necessary precautions you must take. If you’re thinking about heading out on a boat again this summer, keep these six Arizona boating laws in mind.

1. How Old Do You Have to be to Drive a Jet Ski in Arizona?

Arizona law states that no one under 12 can operate a motorized watercraft with more than 8 horsepower unless they have an adult on the watercraft with them. This includes jet skis. Watercraft with more than 8-horsepower engines can pose serious risks if mishandled or crashed.

2. Operation Prohibitions

Any person who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs or physically or mentally incapable of operating a watercraft cannot be in physical control of one. Violations can cost you $2,500 and jail time.

3. Life Jackets

In Arizona, if you are under the age of 12, you must wear a Type I, II or II personal flotation device at all times. These devices must be Coast Guard-approved. If a watercraft is towing you, you are required to wear a flotation device, regardless of age.

Arizona boating laws also state that any watercraft under 16 feet must have some type of flotation device available for everyone on board. If your boat is over 16 feet long, you need a cushion or ring buoy as well.

4. Fire Extinguishers

All watercraft that are shorter than 26 feet long and use diesel, gasoline or bunker fuel must have a Coast Guard-approved Type B-I fire extinguisher if they have one of the following:

  • Inboard engine
  • Closed-compartment storage for fuel tanks
  • Unsealed or unfilled double bottoms
  • Enclosed living spaces
  • Permanent red fuel tanks

Boats that measure between 26 and 40 feet need two Type B-I extinguishers or one Type B-II extinguisher. Watercraft from 40 to 65 feet long have to have three Type B-I extinguishers or one Type B-I and one Type B-II extinguisher.

5. Water Skiing

To follow Arizona boating laws, when waterskiing, two people must be aboard the boat in addition to the skier. One should act as the operator, one as the observer, and the third is the skier. When the skier is in the water but is not skiing, the observer must display a 12×12-inch red or orange flag. You cannot waterski between sunset and sunrise.

6. Duties of Operators

If you are operating a boat and experience a crash or accident, you must immediately stop the watercraft and help anyone who needs assistance. Then, you must exchange names and addresses with the other party and report the accident to the nearest law enforcement agency, where an officer will file a report.

Following Arizona Boating Laws

Following Arizona boating laws keeps everyone safer. However, it is still possible for incidents to take place. If you have been in a boating accident and need legal help from a Phoenix injury lawyer, contact us today.