The ability to go fast makes riding a jet ski appealing to people who want thrills and excitement. Taking risks is fun until someone winds up in the hospital. Even if you have Jet Ski experience, it is always a good idea to be mindful of safety.
The dangers of jet skis come mainly from the fact that you are operating a powerful personal watercraft (PWC) that is designed for maneuverability and requires a certain amount of skill to operate. If you are in Queensland, you will need to be licensed; you must have a recreational marine drivers licence along with a personal watercraft (PWC) licence. The rules vary in other states. Here are some important safety tips that can keep you and others safe when riding a jet ski:
Learn to Swim
While the ability to swim might seem like an obvious necessity for anyone who wants to operate a jet ski, many consider it optional. Swimming can keep you from panicking if you fall off your jet ski. It may also enable you to get back to shore if your jet ski stalls or runs out of fuel.
Never Ride a Jet Ski Without a Lifejacket
Jet ski drivers should wear lifejackets as should the passengers, even if they are strong swimmers. Life jackets are not designed only for people who cannot swim. They can help to keep the wearer’s head above water if they have been rendered unconscious. Lifejackets also make it easier to get back onto a jet ski. When you choose your lifejacket, make sure that it is the right size for you. Too small and it might not keep you afloat, too large and the water might push it up to your face.
Don’t Ride Alone
Take a companion along with you when riding. If this is not possible, make sure that someone knows when you will be riding your jet ski and where to find you. Plan your route and alert them when you have returned.
Don’t Operate a Jet Ski While Under the Influence
Jet skis are popular in the summer when people are out on bodies of water having fun. Leisure time activities often include alcohol consumption. Alcohol is dangerous on a jet ski for the same reasons that it is dangerous in any other kind of vehicle: it impairs your reflexes and judgment. Beyond those effects, alcohol also increases your risk of dehydration, which may further affect your ability to operate the vehicle.
According to an article from ABC, newer jet ski models are capable of acceleration from 0 to 100 in 3.8 seconds. Like being under the influence, going too fast greatly increases your risk of an accident. Inexperienced jet ski drivers who don’t know the vehicle’s capabilities are especially prone to speeding. You should also stay at least 30m from swimmers and other watercraft. This will give you enough time to stop and thus prevent accidents. There are rules for how fast you can go within a certain distance from the shore. For example, Maritime Safety Queensland states that your jet ski should be going no faster than 6 knots if you are within 60m of the shore.
Use the Jet Ski’s Safety Features
Modern jet skis come with a lanyard that connects to the handlebars and that operates a kill switch. If the driver falls off, the jet ski’s engine switches off. Without this lanyard, the jet ski could keep operating without a driver and cause an accident with swimmers or other vessels in the water.
Riding a jet ski is among the most entertaining and exhilarating summer pastimes as long as you keep our common-sense safety tips in mind. At Ezilend, we offer all types of loans, including loans to buy jet skis. Take a look at our jet ski loans to learn more.