Did you know that grossly negligent operation is considered a criminal offense? The U.S. Coast Guard and other law enforcement agencies may impose civil penalties, and operators can be fined up to $5,000, imprisoned for one year or both.
Negligent operation may include
- operating a boat in a swimming area;
- operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- speeding excessively in the vicinity of other boats or in dangerous waters;
- participating in hazardous practices while water-skiing or engaging in other tow sports;
- bowriding or riding on seat backs, gunwales or the transom; and
- diving or jumping off a moving boat.
Coast Guard statistics show that operator inattention, carelessness or reckless operation, excessive speed and no proper lookout are the primary contributing factors in all reported accidents. All of these things are under your complete control as operator of the boat. –U.S. Coast Guard