A Course for Safe Boating
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California Boating 

A Course for Safe Boating

117

Chapter 5

u

Accident Prevention and Rescue

Questions:

1. Identify the mistakes that the operator made and the proper actions that

could have been taken.

2. What could this person have done differently to prevent this accident?

3. What steps could you take to rescue the victims and/or make the

situation better?

RESCUING WATER SKIERS

Water skiing accidents are very dangerous because of high speeds,

crowded ski areas and loose equipment such as the tow rope or skis.

Prevention

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The operator should be aware of the surroundings at all times. The

operator should take great care to avoid other boats, skiers and objects in

the water such as skis, tow ropes, buoys, swimmers and other skiers.

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The observer should observe the skier at all times, know the hand signals

that the skier may use, and communicate with the operator. The observer

should also have the signal flag ready for any time that a skier or his

equipment is in the water.

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When a skier, ski or tow rope is in the water, the boat operator and pas-

sengers should take great care. You should always keep a sharp lookout

for other boats.

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The skier should be looking for floating objects, other skiers and boats.

The skier should pay special attention to the tow rope to keep from get-

ting it entangled.

Rescue

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The downed skier should hold up a ski or arm to warn other boats and

skiers.

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The observer should raise the signal flag designating a downed

skier, watch the position of the skier and alert other boats.

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Approach the site from downwind or into the current using slow to idle

speed.

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The boat should return to the water skier as quickly as possible, making

sure that the skier’s tow rope is not caught in the boat’s propeller.

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An operator should keep a skier on the operator’s side so that the skier

always remains within the operator’s view.

REFER TO CHAPTER 3

PAGES 74–75