1. No person shall operate any vessel, or manipulate any water skis, surfboard or similar device in a careless, reckless or negligent manner so as to endanger the life, limb or property of any person.
Terms Used In Iowa Code 462A.12
- Alcoholic beverage: includes alcohol, wine, spirits, beer, or any other beverage which contains ethyl alcohol and is fit for human consumption. See Iowa Code 462A.2
- Authorized emergency vessel: means any vessel which is designated or authorized by the commission for use in law enforcement, search and rescue, and disaster work. See Iowa Code 462A.2
- Certificate: means a certificate of title. See Iowa Code 462A.2
- Cut-off switch: means an operable factory-installed or dealer-installed emergency cut-off engine stop switch that is installed on a personal watercraft. See Iowa Code 462A.2
- Cut-off switch lanyard: means the cord used to attach the person of the operator of a personal watercraft to the cut-off switch. See Iowa Code 462A.2
- Department: means the department of natural resources. See Iowa Code 462B.1
- Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
- Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
- Manufacturer: means a person engaged in the business of manufacturing or importing new and unused vessels, or new and unused outboard motors, for the purpose of sale or trade. See Iowa Code 462A.2
- Misdemeanor: Usually a petty offense, a less serious crime than a felony, punishable by less than a year of confinement.
- Motorboat: means any vessel propelled by an inboard, inboard-outdrive, or outboard engine, whether or not such engine is the principal source of propulsion. See Iowa Code 462A.2
- Operate: means to navigate or otherwise use a vessel or motorboat. See Iowa Code 462A.2
- Operator: means a person who operates or is in actual physical control of a vessel. See Iowa Code 462A.2
- Owner: means a person, other than a lienholder, having the property right in or title to a motorboat or vessel. See Iowa Code 462A.2
- Passenger: means a person carried on board a vessel, including the operator, and anyone towed by a vessel on water skis, surfboards, inner tubes, or similar devices. See Iowa Code 462A.2
- Person: means an individual, partnership, firm, corporation, or association. See Iowa Code 462A.2
- Personal watercraft: means a vessel, less than sixteen feet in length, which is propelled by a water jet pump or similar machinery as its primary source of motor propulsion and is designed to be operated by a person sitting, standing, or kneeling on the vessel rather than being operated by a person sitting, standing, or kneeling inside the vessel. See Iowa Code 462A.2
- property: includes personal and real property. See Iowa Code 4.1
- state: when applied to the different parts of the United States, includes the District of Columbia and the territories, and the words "United States" may include the said district and territories. See Iowa Code 4.1
- United States: includes all the states. See Iowa Code 4.1
- Use: means to operate, navigate, or employ a vessel. See Iowa Code 462A.2
- Vessel: means every description of watercraft, other than a seaplane, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water or ice. See Iowa Code 462A.2
- Wake: means any movement of water created by a vessel which adversely affects the activities of another person who is involved in activities approved for that area or which may adversely affect the natural features of the shoreline. See Iowa Code 462A.2
- Watercraft: means any vessel which through the buoyant force of water floats upon the water and is capable of carrying one or more persons. See Iowa Code 462A.2
- Watercraft education certificate: means a certificate, approved by the commission, which is issued to a qualified applicant who is twelve years of age or older who has successfully completed a watercraft education course approved by the department. See Iowa Code 462A.2
- Waters of this state under the jurisdiction of the commission: means any navigable waters within the territorial limits of this state, and the marginal river areas adjacent to this state, exempting only farm ponds and privately owned lakes. See Iowa Code 462A.2
2. A person shall not operate any vessel, or manipulate any water skis, surfboard or similar device while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, marijuana, a narcotic, hypnotic or other drug, or any combination of these substances. However, this subsection does not apply to a person operating any vessel or manipulating any water skis, surfboard or similar device while under the influence of marijuana, or a narcotic, hypnotic or other drug if the substances were prescribed for the person and have been taken under the prescription and in accordance with the directions of a medical practitioner as defined in chapter 155A, provided there is no evidence of the consumption of alcohol and further provided the medical practitioner has not directed the person to refrain from operating a motor vehicle, any vessel or from manipulating any water skis, surfboard or similar device.
3. No person shall place, cause to be placed, throw or deposit onto or in any of the public waters, ice or land of this state any cans, bottles, garbage, rubbish, and other debris.
4. No person shall operate on the waters of this state under the jurisdiction of the commission any vessel displaying or reflecting a blue light or flashing blue light unless such vessel is an authorized emergency vessel.
5. No person shall operate a vessel and enter into areas in which search and rescue operations are being conducted or an area affected by a natural disaster unless authorized by the officer in charge of the search and rescue or disaster operation. Any person authorized in an area of operation shall operate the person’s vessel at a no wake speed and shall keep clear of all other vessels engaged in the search and rescue or disaster operation. A person who must operate a vessel in a disaster area to gain access or egress from the person’s home shall be considered an authorized person by the officer in charge.
6. An owner or operator of a vessel propelled by a motor of more than ten horsepower shall not permit any person under twelve years of age to operate the vessel unless accompanied in or on the same vessel by a responsible person of at least eighteen years of age who is experienced in motorboat operation. A person who is twelve years of age or older but less than eighteen years of age shall not operate any vessel propelled by a motor of more than ten horsepower unless the person has successfully completed a department-approved watercraft education course and obtained a watercraft education certificate or is accompanied in or on the same vessel by a responsible person of at least eighteen years of age who is experienced in motorboat operation. A person required to have a watercraft education certificate shall carry and shall exhibit or make available the certificate upon request of an officer of the department. A violation of this subsection is a simple misdemeanor as provided in section 462A.13. However, a person charged with violating this subsection shall not be convicted if the person produces in court, within a reasonable time, a watercraft education certificate. The cost of a watercraft education certificate, or any duplicate, shall not exceed five dollars.
7. A person shall not operate watercraft in a manner which unreasonably or unnecessarily interferes with other watercraft or with the free and proper navigation of the waters of the state. Anchoring under bridges, in a heavily traveled channel, in a lock chamber, or near the entrance of a lock constitutes such interference if unreasonable under the prevailing circumstances.
8. A person shall not operate a vessel in violation of restrictions as given by state-approved buoys or signs marking an area.
9. A person shall not operate on the waters of this state under the jurisdiction of the commission a vessel equipped with an engine of greater horsepower rating than is designated for the vessel by the federally required capacity plate or by the manufacturer‘s plate on those vessels not covered by federal regulations.
10. A person shall not leave an unattended vessel tied or moored to a dock which is placed immediately adjacent to a public boat launching ramp or to a dock which is posted for loading and unloading.
11. A person shall not operate a vessel within fifty feet of a diver’s flag placed in accordance with the rules of the commission adopted under chapter 17A.
12. A person shall not operate a personal watercraft at any time between sundown and sunup.
13. A person shall not chase or harass animals while operating a personal watercraft or motorboat.
14. A person shall not operate a personal watercraft that is equipped with a cut-off switch, at any time, without first attaching the accompanying cut-off switch lanyard to the operator’s person while the engine is running and the personal watercraft is in use.
15. A person shall not operate a vessel on the waters of this state under the jurisdiction of the commission unless every person on board the vessel who is under thirteen years of age is wearing a type I, II, III, or V personal flotation device, including “float coats” that meet this definition, that is approved by the United States coast guard, while the vessel is under way. This subsection does not apply when the person under thirteen years of age is in an enclosed cabin or below deck, or is a passenger on a commercial vessel with a passenger capacity of twenty-five persons or more.