January 21, 2021
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CS/HB 703

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to vessel safety; amending s. 327.39,
3F.S.; revising certain requirements for operating personal
4watercraft; providing penalties; amending s. 327.54, F.S.;
5revising the requirements relating to the boating safety
6course required for leasing or renting a vessel or
7personal watercraft from a livery; providing an effective
10Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
12     Section 1.  Subsections (5) and (6) of section 327.39,
13Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
14     327.39  Personal watercraft regulated.--
15     (5)  No person under the age of 16 14 shall operate any
16personal watercraft on the waters of this state.
17     (6)(a)  It is unlawful for the owner of any personal
18watercraft or any person having charge over or control of a
19personal watercraft to authorize or knowingly permit the same to
20be operated by a person under 16 14 years of age in violation of
21this section or by a person 21 years of age or younger who does
22not hold a boating safety identification card in compliance with
23s. 327.395.
24     (b)1.  It is unlawful for the owner of any leased, hired,
25or rented personal watercraft, or any person having charge over
26or control of a leased, hired, or rented personal watercraft, to
27authorize or knowingly permit the watercraft to be operated by
28any person who has not received instruction in the safe handling
29of personal watercraft, in compliance with s. 327.54 and rules
30established by the commission.
31     2.  Any person receiving instruction in the safe handling
32of personal watercraft pursuant to s. 327.54 and any a program
33established by rule of the commission must provide the owner of,
34or person having charge of or control over, a leased, hired, or
35rented personal watercraft with a written statement attesting to
36the same.
37     3.  The commission shall have the authority to establish
38rules pursuant to chapter 120 prescribing the instruction to be
39given, which shall take into account the nature and operational
40characteristics of personal watercraft and general principles
41and regulations pertaining to boating safety.
42     (c)  Any person who violates this subsection commits a
43misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s.
44775.082 or s. 775.083.
45     Section 2.  Subsections (1) and (4) of section 327.54,
46Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
47     327.54  Liveries; safety regulations; penalty.--
48     (1)  A livery may not knowingly lease, hire, or rent a
49vessel to any person:
50     (a)  When the number of persons intending to use the vessel
51exceeds the number considered to constitute a maximum safety
52load for the vessel as specified on the authorized persons
53capacity plate of the vessel.
54     (b)  When the horsepower of the motor exceeds the capacity
55of the vessel.
56     (c)  When the vessel does not contain the required safety
57equipment required under s. 327.50.
58     (d)  When the vessel is not seaworthy.
59     (e)  When the vessel is equipped with a motor of 10
60horsepower or greater, unless the livery provides prerental or
61preride instruction that includes, but need not be limited to:
62     1.  Operational characteristics of the vessel to be rented.
63     2.  Safe vessel operation and vessel right-of-way.
64     3.  The responsibility of the vessel operator for the safe
65and proper operation of the vessel.
66     4.  Local characteristics of the waterway where the vessel
67will be operated.
69Any person delivering the information specified in this
70paragraph must enroll in, attend, and successfully complete, at
71his or her expense, have successfully completed a boating boater
72safety course that meets minimum standards established by
73commission rule approved by the National Association of State
74Boating Law Administrators and this state.
75     (f)  Unless the livery displays boating safety information
76in a place visible to the renting public. The commission shall
77prescribe by rule pursuant to chapter 120, the contents and size
78of the boating safety information to be displayed.
79     (4)(a)  A livery may not knowingly lease, hire, or rent a
80personal watercraft to any person who is under 18 years of age.
81     (b)  A livery may not knowingly lease, hire, or rent a
82personal watercraft to any person who has not received
83instruction in the safe handling of personal watercraft pursuant
84to rules of, in compliance with rules established by the
85commission established pursuant to chapter 120.
86     (c)  Any person receiving instruction in the safe handling
87of personal watercraft pursuant to rules of the commission
88established pursuant to chapter 120 or any other a program
89established by rule of the commission must provide the livery
90with a written statement attesting to the same.
91     Section 3.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2008.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
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