08.18.02.05

.05 Restrictions.

A. A person may not lease, hire, rent, operate, or give permission to operate a personal watercraft unless:

(1) The operator is 16 years old or older; or

(2) The operator attained the age of 14 years old or older and met the requirements of Natural Resources Article, §8-712.2, Annotated Code of Maryland, as of January 1, 1996.

B. A person may not operate or give permission to operate a personal watercraft for the purpose of towing a person on water skis, aquaplane, or similar device, unless the personal watercraft:

(1) Has a capacity of three persons that includes the:

(a) Driver,

(b) Rear facing observer, and

(c) Water skier;

(2) Is specifically designed for water skiing by the manufacturer.

C. A personal watercraft operator born after July 1, 1972 shall carry a certificate of Boater Safety Education pursuant to Natural Resources Article, §8-712.2, Annotated Code of Maryland.

D. A person may not operate or give permission to operate personal watercraft on the waters of the State, unless each person on board is wearing a Type I, Type II, Type III, or Type V personal flotation device approved by the United States Coast Guard.

E. A person may not operate or give permission to operate a personal watercraft on the waters of the State:

(1) Between sunset and sunrise; or

(2) Within an area of restricted visibility.

F. A person may not operate or give permission to operate on the waters of the State a personal watercraft unless it is equipped with a self-circling device, or a lanyard-type engine cutoff switch.

G. Notwithstanding the requirements of §F of this regulation, a person may not operate or give permission to operate on the waters of the State a specialty prop craft, unless it is equipped with a lanyard-type engine cutoff switch.

H. A person may not operate or give permission to operate on the waters of the State a personal watercraft equipped by the manufacturer with a lanyard-type engine cutoff switch, unless the lanyard is operational and attached to the operator of the personal watercraft, the operator's clothing, or a personal flotation device worn by the operator.

I. A person may not operate or give permission to operate on the waters of the State a personal watercraft equipped by the manufacturer with a self-circling device, if the self-circling device or engine throttle has been altered in any way that would prohibit the self-circling device from operating in its intended manner.

J. Within the Maryland waters of the Atlantic Ocean, a person may not operate or give permission to operate a personal watercraft at any time:

(1) Within 300 feet of people in the water or surf fishermen; and

(2) At a speed of more than 6 knots within 100 feet of a wharf, pier, or jetty.

K. On Maryland waters other than the Atlantic Ocean, a person may not operate or give permission to operate a personal watercraft on the waters of the State at any time at a speed in excess of 6 knots within 100 feet of a shore, wharf, pier, piling, bridge structure or abutment, or people in the water.

L. A person may not operate or give permission to operate a personal watercraft on the waters of the State at any time at a speed in excess of 6 knots within 100 feet of another vessel, except when required to maintain speed in a crossing or overtaking situation pursuant to the Federal Inland or International Navigation Rules.

M. A person may not operate a personal watercraft in a negligent manner. The following are examples of negligent operation and are not intended to limit the actions which may constitute negligent operation:

(1) Jumping, or attempting to jump, the wake of another vessel, within 100 feet of the vessel;

(2) Following within 100 feet of a water skier;

(3) Weaving through congested vessel traffic;

(4) Speeding on restricted areas; and

(5) Operating a personal watercraft in a manner that endangers the life, limb, or property of a person, including the operator.

N. Any person who leases, rents, or otherwise receives consideration for the use of personal watercraft shall comply with COMAR 08.04.08.

O. Personal Watercraft Sticker.

(1) An individual may not operate or give permission to operate a personal watercraft required to be numbered in this State on the waters of this State unless a regulation sticker supplied by the Department is attached to the personal watercraft.

(2) The sticker shall be attached to the upper half of the vessel in such a manner that the operator can read the information on the sticker.

(3) A personal watercraft livery owner, or agent, or employee may not sell, rent, or lease a personal watercraft in this State without the sticker attached in the manner required by this regulation regardless of whether the personal watercraft is required to be numbered in this State.

P. A person may not operate or give permission to operate a personal watercraft in excess of idle speed in any waters of the State less than 18 inches in depth, except when required to maintain speed in a crossing or overtaking situation pursuant to the Federal Inland or International Navigation Rules. It shall be a rebuttable presumption that the operator is aware that the depth of the water is less than 18 inches if:

(1) The area is marked as an idle speed limit area; or

(2) The operator was previously issued a warning or citation for exceeding idle speed in the same area.