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Water Sports
Recreational Boating Water Sports

These are many water sports that involve a boat. Water sports are action-packed, full of fun and thrills, and at other times they can be extreme and dangerous. Enjoying these activities may develop from being a novice participant to being an individual or team-based competitive water sports athlete.

Commercial and recreational diving is popular in many areas. Boaters and divers should exercise extra caution to ensure their safety on the water.

Best Practices

Read BoatBeat’s General Best Practices, in addition to the following tips, for more recommendation and information.

  • Special Considerations: Discuss special considerations while towing a tube, skier, wakeboard or similar water sports devices.
  • Water Skiing Safety: Stress the importance of rules like the operator maintaining a proper lookout, having an observer on board to monitor the skier’s activity and the use of a ski flag to alert other boat operators in the area there is a skier down in the water.
  • Dive Flags: Share about dive flags, knowing the currents in the dive area, and having someone on board who would be able to operate the boat for their self-rescue. Including the importance of “scouting” the diving area to ensure the depth and find any other hazards that may be present like reefs, sandbars, carbon monoxide, or if inside a marina, electric shock drowning.

Fact Sheets

Common Competitive Water Sports

Diving-Commercial and Recreational

Personal Watercraft and Water Jet Devices

Browse All Fact Sheets

Expert Sources

U.S. Coast Guard, Office of Auxiliary & Boating Safety

National Safe Boating Council (NSBC)

National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA)

Personal Watercraft Industry Association (PWIA)

Water Sports Industry Association

Browse Federal and State Point-of-Contacts

External Resources

Diving: Title 33, Code of Federal Regulations, Navigation and Navigable Waterways, 83 Rule 27 (e)


Case Study Sources