Water skiing. 30.69(1)(1)
Prohibited at certain times; exceptions. 30.69(1)(a)(a)
Except as provided in par. (b)
, no person may operate a motorboat towing a person on water skis, aquaplane, or similar device unless one of the following applies:
There is in the motorboat a competent person in addition to the operator in a position to observe the progress of the person being towed.
Subject to s. 30.77 (3) (ab)
, the motorboat is equipped with a mirror that provides the operator with a wide field of vision to the rear.
An observer under par. (a) 1.
shall be considered competent if that person can in fact observe the person being towed and relay any signals to the operator. This observer requirement does not apply to motorboats classified as Class A motorboats by the department actually operated by the persons being towed and so constructed as to be incapable of carrying the operator in or on the motorboat.
No person may engage in water skiing, aquaplaning, or similar activity, at any time from sunset to sunrise. This restriction of the hours of water skiing does not prevent restrictions of the hours of water skiing between sunrise and sunset by local ordinances enacted pursuant to s. 30.77 (3)
, and (am)
do not apply to duly authorized water ski tournaments, competitions, exhibitions, or trials therefor, where adequate lighting is provided.
In addition to complying with pars. (a)
, and (am)
, no person may operate a personal watercraft that is towing a person who is on water skis, an aquaplane, or similar device unless the personal watercraft is designed to seat at least 3 persons.
(2) Careful and prudent operation.
A person operating a motorboat having in tow a person on water skis, aquaplane or similar device shall operate such boat in a careful and prudent manner and at a reasonable distance from persons and property so as not to endanger the life or property of any person.
No person operating a motorboat that is towing persons engaged in water skiing, aquaplaning or similar activity may operate the motorboat within 100 feet of any occupied anchored boat, any personal watercraft or any marked swimming area or public boat landing.
No person who is engaged in water skiing, aquaplaning or similar activity may get within 100 feet of a personal watercraft or allow the tow rope while in use to get within 100 feet of a personal watercraft.
No person may operate a personal watercraft within 100 feet of any of the following:
A motorboat towing a person who is engaged in water skiing, aquaplaning or similar activity.
The tow rope of a motorboat towing a person who is engaged in water skiing, aquaplaning or similar activity.
A person who is engaged in water skiing, aquaplaning or similar activity.
do not apply to pickup or drop areas that are marked with regulatory markers and that are open to operators of personal watercraft and to persons and motorboats engaged in water skiing or similar activity.
(4) Intoxicated operation.
No person may use water skis, an aquaplane or a similar device while under the influence of an intoxicant to a degree which renders him or her incapable of safely using water skis, an aquaplane or a similar device, or under the combined influence of an intoxicant and any other drug to a degree which renders him or her incapable of safely using water skis, an aquaplane or a similar device.
No person may engage in underwater diving or swimming with the use of swimming fins or skin diving in waters other than marked swimming areas or within 150 feet of shoreline, and no person may engage in underwater diving or swimming with the use of self-contained underwater breathing apparatus in waters other than marked swimming areas, unless the location of such diving or swimming is distinctly marked by diver's flag, not less than 12 inches high and 15 inches long, displaying one diagonal white stripe 3 inches wide on a red background, and of height above the water so as to be clearly apparent at a distance of 100 yards under normal conditions, and so designed and displayed as to be visible from any point on the horizon. Except in case of emergency, anyone engaging in such diving or swimming shall not rise to the surface outside of a radius of 50 feet from such flag. No person engaged in such diving or swimming shall interfere with the operation of anyone fishing nor engage in such diving or swimming in established traffic lanes; nor shall any such person alone or with another, intentionally or unintentionally, block or obstruct any boat in any manner from proceeding to its destination where a reasonable alternative is unavailable. A reasonable alternative route is available when the otherwise unobstructed boat can proceed to its destination without reducing its lawful speed, by passing to the right or to the left of a marked diving operation.
History: 1973 c. 302
Disposal of waste from boats equipped with toilets. 30.71(2)
No person may, while maintaining or operating any boat equipped with toilets on the waters of this state, dispose of any toilet wastes in any manner into the water.
No person may operate for compensation or reward an establishment that has the capacity of providing berths or moorings to 5 or more boats that are equipped with toilets and that is located on an outlying water of this state unless the establishment provides adequate fixed onshore disposal facilities for disposal of toilet wastes from the boats for which the establishment provides berths or moorings. If the establishment is unable to provide fixed onshore disposal facilities due to problems of accessibility to the boats, the establishment shall provide adequate portable disposal facilities for these toilet wastes.
Any rules necessary to carry out the purposes of this section shall be promulgated jointly by the department of safety and professional services and the department of natural resources.
The Mississippi River is an inland water of Wisconsin. The boat toilet law may be enforced on the entire width of the river bordering Minnesota and up to the center of the main channel bordering Iowa. 61 Atty. Gen. 167.
Watercraft use rules, Lower St. Croix River. 30.72(1)(a)
The department shall promulgate rules to govern the operation of boats on the Lower St. Croix River. The rules may restrict any or all of the following:
The type of boats which may be used on the waters affected by the rules;
In promulgating the rules required under par. (a)
, the department shall consider the physical characteristics of the waters affected, their historical uses, shoreland uses and classification, the classification of river segments under the Lower St. Croix national scenic riverway master plan, and any other features unique to the Lower St. Croix River, as well as the views of appropriate officials of counties, cities, villages and towns lying within the affected area, and of appropriate officials of agencies of the federal government and the state of Minnesota which have jurisdiction over the waters of the Lower St. Croix River.
(2) Concurrent regulations required.
Rules promulgated under this section are effective upon adoption of laws, rules or regulations providing for similar limitations or prohibitions on the operation and use of boats on the same segments of the Lower St. Croix River by the state of Minnesota or its agencies. In exercising the authority granted by this section, the department may enter into necessary agreements with the federal government and its agencies, or with the state of Minnesota and its agencies under s. 66.0303
In addition to the enforcement powers granted to the department under s. 30.74 (3)
, the rules promulgated under this section may be enforceable by officers of water safety patrol units having jurisdiction on waters of the Lower St. Croix River under s. 30.79 (3)
. All officers so empowered by this section may exercise reciprocal powers which may be conferred upon them by the state of Minnesota or its agencies or political subdivisions relating to enforcement of regulations governing the use or operation of boats on the Lower St. Croix River.
NOTE: Chapter 208, laws of 1975
, which created this section, contains a statement of legislative purpose in section 1. See the 1975 session law volume.
Use regulations, Brule River. 30.73(1)(1)
No person may operate, occupy or use any motorboat or any pneumatic inner tube, inflatable raft or similar device on the Brule River or any of its stream tributaries in Douglas County. This subsection does not prohibit a person from operating, occupying or using a noninflatable nonmotorized boat, canoe or kayak.
does not apply to:
Peace officers or rescue units engaged in emergency operations.
Agents of the department while engaged in fish management or law enforcement activities.
Persons on the Brule River within one mile of its mouth.
(3) Enforcement; littering.
The department shall enforce this section and restrictions on littering in the area of the Brule River and its stream tributaries in Douglas County.
A person who violates this section is subject to the penalties provided under s. 30.80 (1)
History: 1981 c. 303
Additional functions of department. 30.74(1)(a)
The department shall establish a program of comprehensive courses on boating safety and operation. These courses shall be offered in cooperation with schools, including tribal schools, as defined in s. 115.001 (15m)
, private clubs and organizations, and may be offered by the department in areas where requested and where other sponsorship is unavailable. The department shall issue certificates to persons 10 years of age or older successfully completing such courses. The department shall prescribe the course content and the form of the certificate.
The department may promulgate rules to establish minimum standards and procedures for the instruction given under s. 30.625 (1) (a)
The department by rule shall set the instruction fee for the course. A person conducting a course or giving instruction under this subsection shall collect the instruction fee from each person who receives instruction. The department may determine the portion of this fee, which may not exceed 50 percent, that the person may retain to defray expenses incurred by the person in conducting the course or giving the instruction. The person shall remit the remainder of the fee or, if nothing is retained, the entire fee to the department. The department shall issue a duplicate certificate of accomplishment to a person who is entitled to a duplicate certificate of accomplishment and who pays a fee of $2.75.
A valid certificate issued by another state, as defined in s. 115.46 (2) (f)
, or a province of Canada that is held by a person will be honored if the course content substantially meets that established by the department.
The department shall also prepare and disseminate information on water safety to the public, including the informational pamphlets specified in s. 30.52 (5) (a) 4.
and (b) 3.
The department by rule shall establish uniform marking of the water areas of this state through the placement of aids to navigation and regulatory markers. These rules shall establish a marking system compatible with the system of aids to navigation prescribed by the U.S. coast guard and shall give due regard to the system of uniform waterway markers approved by the advisory panel of state officials to the merchant marine council, U.S. coast guard. No municipality or person may mark the waters of this state in any manner in conflict with the marking system prescribed by the department. Any regulatory marker or aid to navigation that does not comply with this marking system is considered an unlawful obstruction to navigable waters and may be removed in accordance with law. The department may not prohibit the placement of a regulatory marker or an aid to navigation if it complies with this marking system and if it is being placed pursuant to an ordinance that has been enacted in compliance with s. 30.77
For purposes of this section “aids to navigation" means buoys, beacons and other fixed objects in the water which are used to mark obstructions to navigation or to direct navigation through safe channels; “regulatory markers" means any anchored or fixed marker in the water or anchored platform on the surface of the water, other than aids to navigation, and shall include but not be limited to bathing beach markers, speed zone markers, information markers, mooring buoys, fishing buoys and restricted activity area markers.
The department shall assist in the enforcement of ss. 30.50
and in connection therewith maintain patrol boats and operate such patrol boats at such times and places as the department deems necessary in the interest of boating safety and the effective enforcement of boating laws.
See also ss. NR 5.09
, Wis. adm. code.
Water exhibitions and races; rules.
For water exhibitions or races, the department may promulgate rules that provide exemptions from any of the requirements or restrictions under s. 30.61
History: 1991 a. 257
; 2005 a. 356
Limited jurisdiction for administration and enforcement of navigation aids by municipalities. 30.745(1)(1)
As used in this section:
“Adjacent outlying waters" means the outlying waters adjacent to the boundaries of a municipality and extending outward for a distance of one-half mile.
“Municipality" means any town, village or city.
(2) Exercise of limited jurisdiction. 30.745(2)(a)(a)
Authority to enact ordinances.
A municipality may enact by ordinance a navigation aids system and regulations affecting moorings, markers and buoys in adjacent outlying waters if the system and regulations are not in conflict with the uniform navigation aids system established by the department under s. 30.74 (2)
or with any county ordinance.
Any municipal ordinance enacted under this section which conflicts with the uniform navigation aids system established by the department under s. 30.74 (2)
or with any county ordinance is void.
Administration and enforcement.
A municipality may exercise jurisdiction over adjacent outlying waters for the purpose of administering and enforcing an ordinance enacted under this section.
Service of process on nonresident. 30.75(1)(1)
Service of process upon a nonresident defendant in any action claiming injury to person or property arising out of the operation of a boat in this state may be either by personal service within or without this state or by registered mail as provided in sub. (2)
(2) Service by registered mail.
If service of process is to be by registered mail, the original and necessary copies of the summons shall be left with the clerk of circuit court in which the action is to be brought, together with a sum of 75 cents to cover the cost of mailing. The clerk of circuit court shall mail a copy to the defendant at the defendant's last address as known to the plaintiff or clerk of circuit court, with the return receipt signed by the addressee requested. Service of the summons is considered completed when it is mailed. The clerk of circuit court shall enter upon the court record the date when the summons is mailed and the name of the person to whom mailed.
History: 1991 a. 316
; 1995 a. 224
Local regulation of boating. 30.77(1)(1)
Local regulation prohibited; exceptions.
shall be uniform in operation throughout the state. No municipality, public inland lake protection and rehabilitation district or town sanitary district may:
Enact any ordinance or local regulation requiring local numbering, registration or licensing of boats or any ordinance or local regulation charging fees for inspection, except as provided in sub. (3) (e)
Except as provided in subs. (2)
, enact any ordinance or local regulation that in any manner excludes any boat from the free use of the waters of this state or that pertains to the use, operation or equipment of boats or which governs any activity regulated by ss. 30.50
(2) Ordinances conforming to state law.
Any municipality may enact ordinances which are in strict conformity with ss. 30.50
or rules of the department promulgated under those sections.
Except as provided in par. (ab)
, any town, village, or city may, in the interest of public health, safety, or welfare, including the public's interest in preserving the state's natural resources, enact ordinances applicable on any waters of this state within its jurisdiction if the ordinances are not contrary to or inconsistent with this chapter and if the ordinances relate to the equipment, use, or operation of boats or to any activity regulated by ss. 30.60
Any town, village, or city may enact an ordinance to prohibit a person operating a motorboat towing a person on water skis, aquaplane, or similar device without an observer, as provided in s. 30.69 (1) (a) 1.
, if all of the following apply:
The ordinance would apply to an inland lake within the jurisdiction of the town, village, or city that has a water safety patrol unit, as defined in s. 30.79