Licenses required for commercial water jet devices

The Coast Guard has issued a Marine Safety Information Bulletin (MSIB Number: 04-15) to advise the public and commercial operators of water jet devices “for-hire” that their personnel on the attached Personal Watercraft (PWC) must have an Operator of an Uninspected Passenger Vessel (OUPV) license.

In case you haven’t seen a water jet device – here is a video of one called a “ Jetovator”.

The Coast has a clear explanation of the procedures that must be followed under this license including:

  1. Emergency procedures for injuries, drowning, loss of vessel control, retrieval of conscious persons in the water, inadvertent dragging of passengers,
  2. Assessment of adequate gear quick release(s), power shut offs, and other disengagement mechanisms.
  3. A safety briefing is provided to the passenger by the vessel operator or crew
  4. Adequate communications including a clear two-way communication arrangement between the vessel operator and
  5. Establishment of safe environmental operating conditions such as weather, sea state, and operating area
  6. Assessment of the need for an additional person(s) and/or a chase boat to provide assistance and maintain situational awareness of the WJD operation and surrounding/oncoming traffic, particularly in congested areas.
  7. Assessment of PFD flotation adequacy, particularly when any equipment worn could overcome the PFD’s buoyancy. Some WJD backpacks are designed with built in positive flotation and some are not.

The Coast Guard also recommends that operators of water jet devices for purely recreational purposes (not for-hire) develop and follow these 7 procedures.

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