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  1. #1
    PWCToday Regular Yabo's Avatar
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    NY, visual distress flag in an sxr

    I'm not sure on the law, but i thought that in new york pwc did not need to have "visual distress flags". I was written a ticket yesterday for "not hav[ing] a required visual distress flag".

    After searching a bit i've found
    that all pwc
    a fluorescent-orange distress flag which shall be a minimum of one foot square or other appropriate United States Coast Guard approved visual distress signal.


    i guess my question then is, where do you guys put your flags in your stand up jet skis. I already don't carry a fire extinguisher because i've had it break loose, puncture and then destroy my engine.

  2. #2
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    Re: NY, visual distress flag in an sxr

    I've heard of guys folding one up, putting it in a ziplock bag and stowing it in the engine bay...away from anything that get's too hot. Keeping it in the fire extinguisher compartment works...even if you still have it on board..wrap the 'flag' around it then put it back.


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    PWCToday.com Is My Home Away From Home Matt_E's Avatar
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    Re: NY, visual distress flag in an sxr

    I don't know about New York, but I have some experience with this at my local riding spot in WA state: I had heard about the coppers giving out tickets or warnings for PWC riders not having VDS (visual distress signals - flare, flag, whatever) on them. So I checked into it, because I was pretty sure state law didn't require this. Turns out it is a county ordinance with an exclusion for powered vessels under 18ft in length.
    I emailed the County Sheriff's Office asking about this. They responded saying that PWC's are treated just like boats and need to have it.
    I replied back to them citing the ordinance and asking them to clarify, since it seemed clear PWC's were excluded.
    They never responded back to me.
    In any event, I plan on keeping laminated printouts of relevant state law and county ordinance with me at all times on the water.

    I guess my point is this: just because someone is given a ticket, doesn't mean that the citing officer had any real understanding of the law. Be aware of what the law actually says.
    Last edited by Matt_E; 07-25-2011 at 06:23 PM.
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    Top Dog jc21508's Avatar
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    Re: NY, visual distress flag in an sxr

    we got pulled over by nassau county cops, you need a flag or flares, i use a flag in my standup, i just put it right under my gas tank strap on the top of the tank.
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    Re: NY, visual distress flag in an sxr

    i've had a few "safety checks" and in florida, they've never asked...
    life jacket, expired fire extinguisher, and a whistle... those are the requirements
    The problem with normal is that it just keeps getting worse...

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  6. #6
    PWCToday.com Is My Home Away From Home delagem's Avatar
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    Re: NY, visual distress flag in an sxr

    Read this, it explains the NY laws fairly well:

    http://www.nysparks.state.ny.us/recr...atersGuide.pdf

    You are reqired to have Visual Distress Equipment. State law reqires you to carry Daytime Visual Distress Equipment. Federal law reqires you to carry both Daytime and Nighttime Visual Distress Equipment when operating within the "Joint Juristictional Waters". WTF?

    The standard definition of this is:

    "USCG Requirements

    Visual distress signals must be carried on all boats which are operated on the high seas, coastal waters (including the Great Lakes), the territorial seas and all waters directly connected to the great lakes or the territorial seas up to a point where the waters are less than two miles wide."

    So basically what this is saying is, if you operate in a bay on Long Island, or on any lake, you need to carry a VDS Flag. If you operate outside of the bay, where it's more than 2 miles wide, or on the Great Lakes where it's more than 2 miles wide, by Federal Law you need to carry Nighttime VDS...

    I have never seen this enforced, so take it for what it's worth.

    EDIT: Oh, and for what it's worth, you need to figure out how to carry a fire extinguisher too. It is a federal reqirement,even though
    NY law exempts this piece of equipment. This is important: make sure it says "USCG Marine Approved" on the label, or else you will get a ticket even if you have one... A lot of those crappy ones sold at discount chains are not "USCG Marine Approved"

    As for the Distress Flag, I just have one under one of the gas tank straps on my Octane. I've never had to show it, I tell the water cops it's there, and explain why I am reluctant to show it (ski will flood if I open the hood), and they have always been satisfied with this answer, at least in the Upstate region....
    Last edited by delagem; 07-25-2011 at 09:44 PM.
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  7. #7
    Frequent Poster balprix's Avatar
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    Re: NY, visual distress flag in an sxr

    They can keep writing those tickets. Let them figure a way to put a fire extinguisher in the hull of my 750SX. I'll drill holes in their boats. Where'd they ticket you, yabo? I ride out from freeport all the time.
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  8. #8
    PWCToday Regular Yabo's Avatar
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    Re: NY, visual distress flag in an sxr

    It was right in mount sinai harbor. They followed us in to the ramp, then proceeded to check all the jet skiers and leave the boaters alone.

  9. #9
    PWCToday Guru Wakerider26's Avatar
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    Re: NY, visual distress flag in an sxr

    New York does have some strict rules. I live in Alabama now.....we barely have to have our skis registered. Ha ha ha...
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  10. #10
    I dream skis
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    Re: NY, visual distress flag in an sxr

    Quote Originally Posted by balprix View Post
    They can keep writing those tickets. Let them figure a way to put a fire extinguisher in the hull of my 750SX. I'll drill holes in their boats. Where'd they ticket you, yabo? I ride out from freeport all the time.
    I'm confused, because every PWC I have ever owned or operated has had a space for a fire extunguisher to comply with the law?

    Seadoos typically have them in the little cylinders under the hood.
    Polaris has a compartment built into the hood
    My X-2's have the fire extinguisher under the seat (LOL)
    My 750SX has it in one of the compartments on the side of the tray.

    if you are syaing that you modified your ski to remove the compartment where it was designed to go, well, that seems to be your problem. As far as I know, every ski sold in America, at least while the applicable law has been in effect (which has been a LONG time) has been designed to hold a fire extingiusher SOMEWHERE.
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