Letters (Aug 5, 2009)

Boaters: Follow the skier-down flag law


As the summer progresses, I am finding that the boating public, primarily the pleasure boaters, are not in tune to a law that took effect Jan. 1, 2007. This law is commonly referred to as the ?skier-down flag law.?

In the law books, it is referred to as 32-1128(e) and states: ?The operator or observer shall observe the person or persons being towed and shall display a flag immediately after the towed person or persons enter into the water and during the time preparatory to towing or retrieving while the person or persons are still in the water.

?Such flag shall be a bright or brilliant orange or red color, measuring not less than 12 inches per side, mounted on a handle, and displayed as to be visible from all directions. It shall be unlawful to display such flag except under the conditions listed in this subsection. Simply put, a skier or tuber goes down in the water, the flag goes up in the boat.?

Some boaters have no flag, others find an old flag stowed in the boat, some have a flag but display it at all times, while others are following the law the way it is written.

This law also includes personal watercraft if they are towing a person.

Also, I would like to remind all boaters to have your personal flotation devices or life jackets properly fitting, and if not worn, out and accessible.

These laws are for the boating public?s safety and are intended to make recreational water activities safer in Kansas. Boat patrol officers will be stepping up patrols to address these laws.

Marvin Peterson

Kansas Dept. of Wildlife & Parks

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