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                            CHAPTER 396-H.F.No. 2834 
                  An act relating to watercraft; modifying the 
                  requirements for operation of a motor boat by a youth; 
                  modifying the provisions for operation of a personal 
                  watercraft by a youth; requiring an advisory group 
                  report; amending Minnesota Statutes 1994, sections 
                  86B.305, subdivisions 1 and 2; and 86B.313, 
                  subdivision 2. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  [TITLE.] 
           This act shall be called the "Aaron Sahli child boating 
        safety act." 
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 86B.305, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [UNDER AGE 12.] (a) Except in case of an 
        emergency, a person under age 12 may not operate or be allowed 
        to operate a watercraft propelled by a motor with a factory 
        rating of more than 30 25 horsepower unless there is present in 
        the watercraft, in addition to the operator, the operator's 
        parent or legal guardian or at least one person of the age 18 21 
        or older who is within immediate reach of the controls of the 
        motor.  For purposes of section 86B.331, the person age 21 or 
        older, as well as the actual operator, is in physical control of 
        the motorboat. 
           (b) A person under age 12 may not operate or be allowed to 
        operate a watercraft propelled by a motor with a factory rating 
        of more than 75 horsepower. 
           Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 86B.305, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [AGE 12 TO 17; PERMIT REQUIRED.] Except as 
        provided in this subdivision, a person age 12 or older and 
        younger than age 18 may not operate a motorboat powered by a 
        motor over 30 25 horsepower without possessing a valid 
        watercraft operator's permit from this state or from the 
        operator's state of residence unless there is a person age 18 21 
        or older in the motorboat who is within immediate reach of the 
        controls of the motor.  For purposes of section 86B.331, the 
        person age 21 or older, as well as the actual operator, is in 
        physical control of the motorboat. 
           Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 86B.313, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [AGE OF OPERATOR.] Except in the case of an 
        emergency, a person under the age of 13 years may not operate or 
        be permitted to operate a personal watercraft, regardless of 
        horsepower, unless there is a person 18 years of age or older on 
        board the craft.  It is unlawful for the owner of a personal 
        watercraft to permit the personal watercraft to be operated 
        contrary to this subdivision. 
           Sec. 5.  [ADVISORY GROUP REPORT.] 
           The department of natural resources shall continue its work 
        with a boating advisory panel, consisting of members from the 
        marine industry, boat dealers, shoreland owners, county 
        sheriffs, boat user groups, legislators, and department 
        representatives to review boating safety issues.  The department 
        shall report back to the chairs of the senate and house 
        environment and natural resources committees with any 
        recommendations for legislative changes by January 15, 1997. 
           Sec. 6.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
           Sections 2, paragraph (b), 4, and 5 are effective May 1, 
        1996.  The remainder of this act is effective January 1, 1997. 
           Presented to the governor March 29, 1996 
           Signed by the governor April 1, 1996, 11:03 a.m.