2002 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Hewes, Gollott
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 59-21-85, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT CHILDREN UNDER A CERTAIN AGE SHALL NOT OPERATE PERSONAL WATERCRAFT UNLESS ACCOMPANIED BY A PERSON 21 YEARS OF AGE; TO AUTHORIZE THE DEPARTMENT OF MARINE RESOURCES TO CONDUCT BOATING SAFETY COURSES; TO AMEND SECTION 59-21-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO DEFINE PERSONAL WATERCRAFT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 59-21-85, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
59-21-85. (1) (a) No motorboat * * * shall be operated by any person who is under the age of twelve (12) years, unless he * * * is * * * accompanied by a parent, guardian or other person who is at least twenty-one (21) years of age and qualified and capable of operating the same. No personal watercraft shall be operated by any person who is under the age of sixteen (16) years unless he is accompanied by a parent, guardian or other person who is at least twenty-one (21) years of age and qualified and capable of operating the same.
(b) A motorboat * * * may not be operated by any person born after June 30, 1980, unless the person has completed a course in boating safety conducted or approved by the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks or the Department of Marine Resources, and the person has in his immediate possession while operating a motorboat a certificate of satisfactory completion of the boating safety course.
(c) The requirement of possessing a certificate under this subsection shall not apply to any person operating a motorboat that is rented from a person engaged in the business of renting motorboats.
(2) Boating safety courses shall be held by the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks or the Department of Marine Resources, or instructors designated and approved by the departments. The department * * * shall issue a certificate to each person who satisfactorily completes the boating safety course.
(3) In lieu of any other penalties provided for a violation of this chapter, a violation of this section is punishable by a fine of not less than Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00) nor more than Fifty Dollars ($50.00).
SECTION 2. Section 59-21-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
59-21-3. As used in this chapter, unless the context clearly requires a different meaning:
(a) "Commission" means the Mississippi Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.
(b) "Length" means the length of the vessel measured from end to end over the deck excluding sheer.
(c) "Livery boat" means any boat for rent or hire.
(d) "Machinery" means inboard and outboard engines and all other types of motors or mechanical devices.
(e) "Motorboat" means any undocumented vessel propelled by machinery, whether or not such machinery is the principal source of propulsion. The term motorboat includes personal watercraft.
(f) "Operate" means to navigate or otherwise use a motorboat or vessel.
(g) "Operator" means the person who operates or who has charge of the navigation or use of a motorboat or a vessel.
(h) "Owner" means the person who claims lawful possession of a vessel by virtue of legal title or equitable interest therein which entitles him to such possession.
(i) "Person" means an individual, partnership, firm, corporation, association or other entity.
(j) "Personal watercraft" means a vessel which uses an inboard motor powering a water jet pump as its primary source of motive power and which is designed to be operated by a person sitting, standing, or kneeling on the vessel, rather than the conventional manner of sitting or standing inside the vessel.
(k) "Ships' lifeboats" means lifeboats used solely for lifesaving purposes and does not include dinghies, tenders, speedboats, or other type of craft carried aboard a vessel and used for other than lifesaving purposes.
(l) "Undocumented vessel" means any vessel which is not required to have, and does not have, a valid marine document issued by the Bureau of Customs.
(m) "Vessel" means every description of watercraft, other than seaplane on the water, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water.
(n) "Waters of this state" means any waters within the territorial limits of this state, and the marginal sea adjacent to this state and the high seas when navigated as a part of a journey or ride to or from the shore of the state; however, "waters of this state" does not mean any private pond or lake which is not used for boat rentals or the charging of fees for fishing therein.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2002.