Boating Safety Regulations
BUI (Boating Under the Influence)
Night Boating & Fishing
Current Legislation Concerning the Operation of Personal Watercraft (jet skis) in Georgia Waters:
Please inform your family and guests!
Each person aboard a personal watercraft must wear a United States Coast Guard approved personal flotation device, Type 1, Type II, Type III or Type V, which is properly fitted and fastened.
No one under the age of 16 may operate a personal watercraft without meeting legal requirements.
A person age 12-15 may operate a jet ski ONLY if one of the following criteria is met:
No person shall rent, lease, or let for hire a personal watercraft to any person under the age of 16 years.
It is unlawful for a person who has temporary or permanent responsibility of a child or ward to allow the child or ward to violate any of the requirements listed above.
No person shall operate a personal watercraft on the waters of this state after sunset or before sunrise.
No person shall operate a personal watercraft on the waters of this state unless the personal watercraft is equipped with a self circling device or a lanyard-type engine cutoff switch. If equipped with a self-circling device, such device must be fully operational. If equipped with a lanyard-type engine cutoff switch the lanyard must be attached to the operator’s clothing, body or PFD.
No person shall operate a personal watercraft on the waters of this state at a speed greater than idle speed within 100 feet of any moored or anchored vessel, any vessel adrift, or any wharf, dock, pier, piling, bridge structure or abutment, person in the water, or shoreline adjacent to a full-time or part-time residence, public park, public beach, public swimming area, marina, restaurant, or other public use area.
It is legal to tow a skier behind a personal watercraft ONLY if the personal watercraft is designed by the manufacturer to carry three or more persons. The skier must wear a ski belt, ski jacket, or a United States Coast Guard approved Type I, II, or III personal flotation device, properly fitted and fastened. A competent observer other than the operator must be aboard the personal watercraft. A wide-angle mirror cannot be used in place of an observer to tow a skier behind a personal watercraft.
A personal watercraft is considered a Class A vessel. Therefore, requirements concerning registration of vessels applies to personal watercraft. The requirement for fire extinguishers applies to personal watercraft also.
To report any incident related to boating safety or law enforcement involving boating call the Law Enforcement Division of the Georgia Department Of Natural Resources at 770-535-5499.