These little beasties have got a bad rap in much of the media, due t the fact that some people have been killed in accidents that actually were pretty brutal, but it seems out of proportion taking into consideration the statistics for other forms of transport. Thousands of people are killed on the roads every year, but we don’t stay off the roads do we? In addition, most jet ski accidents happen because people do the wrong thing, don’t follow the training , or worse still, don’t get any training!
Jet Ski accidents come in two flavors – either hitting another vehicle or boat, or running over a swimmer in the water – nice surprise! Before looking at particular jet ski safety features lets review some basic rules about the activity:
Wear a life jacket!
Yeah, I know it doesn’t look too cool. Who needs one? You can swim like a fish so it’s completely unnecessary, as you’ve spent most of your life in the water. However, what about if you’re knocked unconscious and drown in your sleep – let me see you swim your way out of that one!
Don’t drink and drive.
Works for every damn vehicle existing, so why think that it’s not too important when driving a water craft. Of course you’re having a great time, which is easy of you’re smashed out of you head, but your reactions times (even if you think feel that thy they are enhanced by alcohol) are super slow. If you find yourself in a bad situation, a couple of seconds can mean the difference between life and death, as the comic books say.
Don’t just focus on the thrills and fun. Constantly look around for that stupid son of a bitch who isn’t taking care like you are (or should be) and putting people in danger. Are there any kids or swimmers in the water, are you too much in the shallows where there are a lot of folk. You know the kind of thing.
Stop Showing Off!
Youtube is great – I watch something on there every single day, but some of the jet ski tricks you can see really should not be copied. OK, some folk can flip their machine into somersaults using waves, but can you? Imagine one of these babies coming down on your head. They are heavy, dudes, so be sensible, even if it goes against your surfer-dude beach code. You can’t get involved in water sport of any kind if your head’s bust or you have a broken leg/arm/shoulder/hip – you get the idea.
Below you’ll see a great pledge that covers every safety feature of this great sport – I found it on a Sea Doo blog:
Have you taken the PWIA Safe Rider Pledge? The waterways are here for us all to enjoy and be safe on the water. The Personal Watercraft Industry Association (PWIA) has developed a Safe Rider Pledge that outlines important safety features to ensure that everyone is able to be safe and enjoy the waterways together. Take the pledge today!
SCAN THE WATER
• I will constantly scan for people, objects, and other watercraft.
• I will avoid areas with submerged objects or shallow water.
AVOID AGGRESSIVE MANEUVERS
• I will ride within my limits and avoid aggressive maneuvers.
• I will make predictable maneuvers so that others may anticipate my course.
FOLLOW LOCAL BOATING LAWS
• I will learn my state’s boating laws, including its minimum operator age.
• I will take a boater safety education course.
EXAMINE YOUR EQUIPMENT
• I will always check my throttle and steering controls for proper operation before I start my PWC.
• I will always wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket and protective clothing, such as a wet suit bottom or clothing that provides equivalent protection.
• I will keep aboard and maintain all required safety equipment.
REACT TO CONDITIONS
• I will operate defensively and adjust my speed to match conditions.
INSIST ON A SAFE DISTANCE
• I will keep a safe distance away from people, objects, and other watercraft.
• I will take early action to avoid collisions.
• I will never ride after consuming drugs or alcohol.
EVALUATE WEATHER AND WATERWAYS
• I will be alert for conditions that limit my visibility or block my vision of others.
RESPECT THE ENVIRONMENT
• I will respect ecologically sensitive areas, and refuel carefully to avoid spills. I will be sensitive to marine life.Thank you for taking the time to fill out this safety pledge form. For more information about our organization and members, please visit our website: PWIA.org. NOTE: your information will be kept private and will not be sold to any third parties.