Arizona Revised Statutes § 5-350 Personal Watercraft; Requirements For Operation; Definition

5-350. Personal watercraft; requirements for operation; definition

A. A person shall not operate a personal watercraft unless each person aboard is wearing a wearable personal flotation device that is approved by the United States coast guard.

B. A person who operates a personal watercraft that is equipped by the manufacturer with a lanyard type engine cutoff switch shall attach the lanyard to his body, clothing or personal flotation device as appropriate for the specific watercraft.

C. A person shall not operate or knowingly allow another person to operate a personal watercraft under his ownership or control in a reckless or negligent manner endangering the life or property of another person. Prima facie evidence of reckless operation exists if the person commits two or more of the following acts simultaneously:

1. Operates the personal watercraft within a zone of proximity to another watercraft closer than sixty feet unless both are leaving a flat wake or are traveling at a speed of five nautical miles per hour or less.

2. Operates the personal watercraft within the vicinity of a motorboat in a manner that obstructs the visibility of either operator.

3. Heads into the wake of a motorboat that is within a zone of proximity closer than sixty feet and causes one-half or more of the length of the personal watercraft to leave the water.

4. Within a zone of proximity to another watercraft closer than sixty feet, maneuvers quickly, turns sharply or swerves, unless the maneuver is necessary to avoid a collision.

D. If equipped by the manufacturer, a person shall not operate a personal watercraft without a functioning spring-loaded throttle mechanism that immediately returns the engine to an idle speed on release of the operator's hand from the control or without any other engine cutoff feature that is installed by the manufacturer.

E. A personal watercraft shall not be loaded and operated with passengers or cargo beyond its safe carrying capacity or the manufacturer's recommended limits.

F. A person who owns, leases or hires a personal watercraft or who has charge or control over a personal watercraft shall not authorize or knowingly permit the personal watercraft to be operated in violation of this section.

G. This section does not apply to a performer who engages in a professional exhibition or to a person who participates in an officially sanctioned regatta, race, marine parade, tournament or exhibition.

H. For purposes of this section, " personal watercraft" means a watercraft that is less than sixteen feet long, propelled by machinery powering a water jet pump and designed to be operated by a person who sits, stands or kneels on rather than sitting or standing inside the watercraft.

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Last modified: October 13, 2016