SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL NO. 1007


                                                           AS AMENDED BY THE SENATE


                                                                            C 241 L 89



State of Washington                               51st Legislature                              1989 Regular Session


By House Committee on Natural Resources & Parks (originally sponsored by Representatives Ballard, Ferguson, McLean and K. Wilson)



Read first time 2/22/89.



AN ACT Relating to safety in water skiing; adding a new section to chapter 88.12 RCW; and declaring an emergency.




          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  A new section is added to chapter 88.12 RCW to read as follows:

          (1) The purpose of this section is to promote safety in water skiing on the waters of Washington state, provide a means of ensuring safe water skiing and promote the enjoyment of water skiing.

          (2) When used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings designated in this section unless a different meaning is expressly provided or unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

          (a) "Operator" means the individual in physical control of the recreational boat.

          (b) "Observer" means the individual riding in the recreational boat who shall be responsible for observing the water skier at all times.  The observer and the operator shall not be the same person.  The observer shall be at least ten years of age.

          (c) "Recreational boat" means any vessel manufactured or used primarily for noncommercial use; or leased, rented, or chartered to another for the latter's noncommercial use.

          (d) "Waters of Washington state" means any waters within the territorial limits of Washington state.

          (3) No recreational boat which has in tow a person or persons on water skis, or similar contrivance shall be operated on any waters of Washington state unless such craft shall be occupied by at least an operator and an observer.  The observer shall continuously observe the person or persons being towed and shall display a flag immediately after the towed person or persons fall into the water, and during the time preparatory to skiing while the person or persons are still in the water.  Such flag shall be a bright red color, measuring twelve inches on each side, mounted on a handle not less than twenty-four inches long and displayed as to be visible from every direction.  This subsection does not apply to a United States coast guard approved recreational boat, the design of which makes no provision for carrying an operator or any other person on board, and that is actually operated by the person or persons being towed.

          (4) No person shall engage or attempt to engage in water skiing without wearing an adequate and effective United States coast guard approved type I, II, III, or V personal floatation device in good and serviceable condition and of appropriate size, or a wet suit specifically designed by a manufacturer for that purpose and capable of floating the water skier.

          (5) No person shall engage or attempt to engage in water skiing, or operate any vessel to tow a water skier, on the waters of Washington state during the period from one hour after sunset until one hour prior to sunrise.

          (6) No person engaged in water skiing shall conduct himself or herself in a negligent manner that endangers, or is likely to endanger, any person or property.

          (7) The requirements of subsections (3), (4), and (5) of this section shall not apply to water skiers and boat operators engaged in water ski tournaments, competitions, or exhibitions that have been authorized or otherwise permitted by the appropriate agency having jurisdiction and authority to authorize such events.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.                             This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect immediately. Passed the House April 17, 1989.


                                                                                                                                         Speaker of the House.

Passed the Senate March 29, 1989.


                                                                                                                                       President of the Senate.