Safety Guidelines by Brad Scott.
These guidelines are not intended to be comprehensive, but rather a reminder of a few key ideas to make your day on the water safe and enjoyable. Most of this suits also to wakeboard and water-ski activities.
Always shut off the engine when people are getting into the water or into the boat.
Always ensure the skier and rope is clear before starting the engine. Be particularly careful about the boat drifting into a skier or the rope on windy days.
Make sure your signals between rider and driver are clear. In particular, decide in advance what the rider will say when he/she is ready to start. “Go” and “No” sound alike, so pick signals that cannot be confused with “wait”, “no”, “hold on”, etc.
Know the lake/river where you are skiing. Be sure to check that the area where the rider will ski is deep enough. If in doubt, scout the area before skiing.
Disconnect the rope from the tower/pylon when not pulling a skier to avoid the possibility of the handle falling in the water and the rope causing injury.
Leave the alcohol on shore until you are finished driving and riding.
Always keep the skier on the driver or starboard side when returning after a fall. Return at idle speed when within 50 feet of the skier.
Before accelerating, ensure all skis and equipment are secure and passengers are safely seated.
Know where to go in case of emergency, or who to contact on shore for first aid equipment or information.
Never let the rope get wrapped around your hand (or any other body part) while the handle or any part of the rope is in the water.
As the driver is picking up a rider, ensure that the rope does not get caught on any part of the boat or caught under a ski.
Notify the driver if the skier is down and communicate skier signals to the driver.
Before getting into the water, check your equipment. Ensure bolts are tight, your rope and handle are not damaged in any way, and your helmet and vest are in proper condition.
Always keep the rope and handle clear of your body so that if the rope unexpectedly tightens, you could not get hurt.
Stay within your abilities. Keep the boat speed slow enough that you stay in control.