Legal Help for Injured Water Skiers

Waterskiing‚ in particular‚ has been growing in popularity in recent years in San Diego among water sports. Though‚ with only one lake in San Diego offering the sport-El Capitan- waterways tend to get crowded and therefore very dangerous for water skiers. It is no surprise that water ski injuries have steadily increased throughout the years.

As with other boating and water sports‚ there are both federal and state laws that regulate water skiing. The American Water Ski Association (AWSA) law‚ as well as California law‚ requires there to be a least two persons aboard a boat towing a water skier: the operator‚ and an observer 12 years of age or older.

Water Ski Roles


Be alert for anything that may come between you and the boat‚ i.e. cross-wakes‚ swimmers‚ rafters‚ etc.

Boat Operator

Boat operators must be extremely cautious when pulling a water skier. A skier’s safety falls into their hands. They are responsible for checking for a clear path‚ freeing the towline‚ accelerating at a steady speed‚ and making safe turns. When a skier falls‚ boat operators must return immediately. Shut the engine off so the skier is not in danger from the propeller and approach with caution on the side of the boat.


In addition to relaying the signals back and forth from the skier and the boat operator‚ the observer is responsible for watching the skier at all times. Statewide boating accident statistics indicate an alarming increase in water-ski accidents resulting from the improper lookout.

Waterskiing Safety Tips

  • ALWAYS wear a life jacket.
  • Check your towline before each skier begins.
  • Maintain a reasonable‚ safe speed at all times.
  • If you are “dropping a ski‚” release it near a dock where it can be retrieved immediately out of the way of other boats and skiers.
  • Steer clear of docks and fishing boats.
  • Do not pass the towline in between other vessels.
  • Alcohol and other drug usage is prohibited.

If you are the skier‚ learn the proper hand signals for communicating with the boat operator. Water skiing is an extremely dangerous sport‚ especially for someone who is inexperienced and unfamiliar with proper procedure. Water skiers can be injured by boat hardware and emissions‚ ski equipment‚ obstacles‚ or collisions with other vessels.

Contact a San Diego Water Ski Accident Attorney

If you or someone you know was injured or killed in a water skiing accident in San Diego due to someone else’s negligence‚ you are entitled to money damages. Contact an experienced attorney immediately. The San Diego boat accident lawyers at Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers will help you get the compensation you need to cover your medical costs and lost wages. Call us at (619) 233-5020 or (888) 233-5020.

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