Current Status Bill Number:
766Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: SenateIntroduced Date: 19950419Primary Sponsor: WaldrepAll Sponsors: WaldrepDrafted Document Number: PFM\7353BDW.95Residing Body: HouseCurrent Committee: Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee 20 HANRSubject: Watercraft on Lake Hartwell
Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ _______________________________________ _______ ____________ House 19950426 Introduced, read first time, 20 HANR referred to Committee Senate 19950425 Read third time, sent to House Senate 19950420 Read second time Senate 19950419 Introduced, read first time, placed on Calendar without referenceView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
April 19, 1995
S. Printed 4/19/95--S.
Read the first time April 19, 1995.
TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING ARTICLE 15 TO CHAPTER 25, TITLE 50 SO AS TO RESTRICT THE USE OF PERSONAL WATERCRAFT INCLUDING JET SKIS ON LAKE HARTWELL, DEFINE TERMS, PROVIDE PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS, AND PROVIDE EXCEPTIONS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 50-25-1510. As used in this article:
(1)(a) `Personal watercraft' means a boat less than sixteen feet in length which:
(i) has an outboard motor or an inboard motor which uses an internal combustion engine powering a water jet pump as its primary source of motive propulsion;
(ii) is designed with the concept that the operator and passenger ride on the outside surfaces of the vessel as opposed to riding inside the vessel;
(iii) has the probability that the operator and passenger, in the normal course of use, may fall overboard.
(b) Personal watercraft includes, without limitation, a vessel where the operator and passenger ride on the outside surfaces of the vessel, even if the primary source of motive propulsion is a propeller, and a vessel commonly known as a `jet ski'.
(2) `Specialty propcraft' means a vessel which is similar in appearance and operation to a personal watercraft but is powered by an outboard or propeller-driven motor.
(3) `Floating device' includes kneeboards, aqua planes, surfboards, saucers, inner tubes, and other similar equipment.
Section 50-25-1520. (A) On Lake Hartwell no person may:
(1) operate, be in possession of, or give permission to operate a personal watercraft or specialty propcraft unless each person aboard the personal watercraft or specialty propcraft is wearing a United States Coast Guard approved personal flotation device, Type I, Type II, Type III, or Type V. Each personal flotation device must be fastened properly, in good and serviceable condition, and the proper size for the person wearing it;
(2) operate or be in possession of a personal watercraft or specialty propcraft after sunset or before sunrise;
(3) operate or be in possession of a personal watercraft or specialty propcraft unless it is equipped with a self-circling device or a lanyard-type engine cutoff switch;
(4) operate or be in possession of a personal watercraft or specialty propcraft which has been equipped by the manufacturer with a lanyard-type engine cutoff switch unless the lanyard and the switch are operational and unless the lanyard is attached to the operator, the operator's clothing, or a personal flotation device worn by the operator;
(5) operate or be in possession of a personal watercraft or specialty propcraft which has been equipped by the manufacturer with a self-circling device if the self-circling device or the engine throttle has been altered in a way that would prohibit the self-circling device from operating in its intended manner;
(6) operate or be in possession of a personal watercraft or specialty propcraft in excess of five miles an hour within one hundred feet of a moored or an anchored vessel, wharf, dock, or pier or of a person in the water;
(7) chase, harass, molest, worry, or disturb wildlife with a personal watercraft or specialty propcraft, except while lawfully angling for, hunting, or trapping wildlife;
(8) tow a water skier or a person on a floating device with a personal watercraft or specialty propcraft unless the watercraft is equipped with a mirror which permits the operator to observe the person being towed or carrying a person other than the operator who is in position to observe the person being towed. No person may tow a water skier or a floating device unless the person being towed is wearing a personal flotation device as provided in item (1). A personal watercraft or specialty propcraft may be used to tow another vessel when rendering assistance;
(9) operate a personal watercraft or specialty propcraft in a manner which unreasonably or unnecessarily endangers life, limb, or property including, but not limited to, weaving through congested vessel traffic, jumping the wake of another vessel unreasonably or unnecessarily close to the other vessel or when visibility around the other vessel is obstructed, and swerving at the last possible moment to avoid collision;
(10) operate a personal watercraft or specialty propcraft in a manner so as to leave the water completely while crossing the wake of another vessel within fifty feet of the vessel creating the wake;
(11) operate a personal watercraft or specialty propcraft if he is younger than sixteen years of age. However, a person younger than sixteen years of age and older than twelve years of age may operate a personal watercraft and a specialty propcraft only if one or more of the following applies:
(a) The person completes a personal watercraft safety program approved by the Department of Natural Resources.
(b) The person is accompanied by an adult, eighteen years of age or older, who meets the requirements of this article and who is not under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of them.
(c) The person is under the direct supervision of an adult, eighteen years of age or older, who is not under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of them. Direct supervision is defined as being within sight or hearing distance of an adult.
(B) It is unlawful for a person who has temporary or permanent responsibility for a child to allow the child to violate item (11) of subsection (A).
Section 50-25-1530. On Lake Hartwell it is unlawful for a person who owns or leases a personal watercraft or specialty propcraft or who has charge over or control of a personal watercraft or specialty propcraft to authorize or knowingly to permit the personal watercraft or specialty propcraft to be operated in violation of this article.
Section 50-25-1540. A person who violates this article is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days.
Section 50-25-1550. This article does not apply to:
(1) the operation of personal watercraft or specialty propcraft by the following personnel while in the performance of their official duties:
(a) law enforcement;
(b) emergency medical;
(c) civil defense;
(e) state and federally approved wildlife;
(f) those involved in biological research programs;
(2) activity on private waters;
(3) performers engaged in a professional exhibition or a person preparing to participate or participating in an officially sanctioned regatta, race, marine parade, tournament, or exhibition in an area and at a time designated for that purpose."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.