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Safety Matters in Navigation

Keep to the starboard side in narrow channels when possible.

Use common sense around large ships. Keep your distance.

Do not operate a personal watercraft in low visibility weather conditions such as fog, heavy rains or snow.

Look around, especially behind you, before turning. Turn slowly. Avoid erratic turns, especially in congested areas.

A power driven vessel, whether it's a PWC or other craft, must keep out of the way of a vessel not under command (unable to maneuver), vessels restricted in their ability to maneuver, vessels engaged in fishing, and sailing vessels. Sailboats must keep away from vessels not under command, with restricted maneuverability or fishing. A vessel constrained by its draft should navigate with particular caution having full regard for its circumstances.

Whenever possible, give extra clearance to sailboats.

Be alert to all situations involving anyone who might be in the water - water skiers, divers, swimmers, and other personal watercraft operators should be given a safe, wide berth.

Since PWC do not have the lights required by the Navigation Rules operation at night is dangerous. It is illegal in most states to operate Personal Watercraft after the sun sets. You should have a flashlight aboard at all times in case you are caught out after dark. Also, considering speeds at which PWC operate, it would be foolish to use them in conditions of reduced visibility such as night, or in the fog, heavy rains or snow. If you are out in these conditions it is required that you have the proper navigation lights.

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