Your Essential Guide to Personal Watercraft Safety

Essential Personal Watercraft Safety Equipment

Man and woman on a jet ski

Heading out onto the water with your Personal Watercraft (PWC) requires some serious forethought and availability of practical safety equipment. ‘Going it alone’ or bare bones can be a dangerous move, so please read through and gather these essential safety items below. You just might thank us later.

What to wear:

  • US Coast Guard approved life vest for every rider which must be worn. Larger boats (not PWC’s) must just have them onboard
  • Water shoes to protect your feet
  • Gloves to protect your hands
  • Waterproof sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Depending on weather and water conditions - possibly a wet suit or even a dry suit if conditions dictate.

What to bring:

  • Signaling devices – visual and sound. Examples would be a whistle and a small mirror
  • Fire extinguisher
  • A basic first aid kit
  • A small anchor
  • A length of mooring line in case of needing to tie off to another machine for a tow, preferably a floating line so if dropped it doesn’t sink
  • If the machine is going to be used at night or in low light conditions then Navigation lights would be required
  • A dry bag to store important items, such as papers and cell phones
  • Ignition safety lanyard must be worn so if you are thrown from the machine the engine is disabled and stops
  • Depending on the area where the machine is operated - a compass
  • A small paddle or oar
  • Depending on the waterway - possibly charts for navigation

Learn more about personal watercraft safety and remember to contact your State Farm® Agent to make sure your watercraft is properly insured.