Over the years I’ve read and heard of too many sad stories due to lack of experienced driver & spotter in the boat. Pulling a tube or water skier is a potentially dangerous undertaking, one that many feel requires little to no skill. How often has someone said to me “I’ll drive for you” to which almost always I say “thank you, no thank you”.
What can go wrong ? (known because I’ve heard of, seen this go wrong)
- Idle boat can be bumped into reverse and run over people – enter and exit from the side of the platform – driver AND spotter need to make sure boat is locked in neutral when driver moves from seat – spotter needs experience and instructions so driver may remain in seat.
- Person in water at risk being hit by others – park boat between person in water and oncoming traffic flow
- Person in water may have rope around body/neck – spotter should feed out line slowly to tight before take off
- Person in tow swings to side and hits dock/ raft/ oncoming traffic – keep boat AT LEAST rope length from hazzards…people roll over the water when the fall off tube or ski
- Sundown/ sunup / dusk hard to see person in water – you can’t see others and they can’t see you – extreme extra caution
- Too much traffic causes collisions – there are no traffic lights but there are speed limits and right of ways and safe distance to shore, these are minimum cautions.
- Jacket falls off tuber when the fly off tube – you make sure they are in tight
- Multi tube collisions – I’ve seen all sorts of tube collisions that include earrings tearing ears, bruises, and other painful things I’ll leave unmentioned.
- Sitting in water waiting for boat return – lift a ski to become more visible.
- Confusion in the boat – same as in a car, a distraction and to the driver and danger to many; leave some folks on shore for a later trip.
- Skiers: consider yoga in the on and off season.
Do you have tips to add ? Please leave in comments.
- MI Law brief w/ tournament driver exception: http://www.michigan-sportsman.com/forum/showpost.php?s=5b088fcd2d98d97e3697c24e2b7977db&p=2788453&postcount=3
- Excellent outline of safety: http://www.acacamps.org/campline/w-2009/water-ski-boat-safety