There is no doubt that riding a personal watercraft (also known as a Jet Ski) may be an exhilarating experience and is a wonderful way to spend the afternoon at a nearby lake or reservoir. Imagine it as a snowmobile that can be used on the water.
Jet Skis are not just simple toys because they have the horsepower that is comparable to that of large outboard boat engines and acceleration that is on par with that of motorcycles. According to research conducted by the BoatUS Foundation, the operation of these robust machines is associated with a higher risk of injury compared to that of other types of watercraft. Although they only account for 9 percent of all maritime vessels that are registered in the United States, Jet Skis are involved in 26 percent of all recorded accidents.
To operate a Jet Ski safely, you need both experience and the appropriate training in order to lower the likelihood of being involved in an accident. A day spent on the water can be enjoyable and incident-free if proper precautions are taken, in addition to meeting the legal criteria pertaining to minimum age and level of education.
1. Ensure you have the proper Jet Ski equipment
The United States Coast Guard categorizes jet skis as Class A vessels, which means that the same rules and regulations that apply to boats that are less than 16 feet in length also apply to jet skis. Therefore, you are not allowed to ride your Jet Ski unless it has been properly outfitted with all of the safety gear that is necessary for its category.
- A fire extinguisher that has been approved by the Coast Guard
- a flame arrestor that works in the event of a backfire
- Ventilation system
- a means of communication, such as a trumpet or a whistle
- Registration of the vessel with the appropriate decals shown
- Life vest
No of how well a person can swim, a flotation device like a life vest is required for everyone who is a passenger in a boat as well as anyone who is being towed behind the boat. It is also required by law. The person who is operating the Jet Ski is required to wrap a cord or lanyard around their wrist, and the other end of the cord or lanyard must be attached to the key that is in the ignition. In the event that the driver loses control of the vehicle, this can help prevent the engine from remaining running. In order to stop anyone from using the Jet Ski without permission, the cord needs to be removed whenever it is docked.
2. Enroll in a safety training program for jet skis
It is strongly suggested that you enroll in a boating safety course even if the state in which you reside does not mandate that its residents complete such a course. This is especially true if the course provides training on the particulars of operating Jet Skis. When you successfully complete a recognized safety course, you might possibly be eligible for a reduction in the cost of your personal watercraft insurance. First-time boat operators should obtain some practical experience in an isolated place away from busier waters after completing a boating safety course; the majority of accidents involve collisions with other vessels. This enables you to become familiar with the workings of your Jet Ski as well as its handling in an area that is safe for you to do so.
3. Practice defensive driving
Even if they have knowledge and expertise, riders of Jet Skis should always practice defensive driving. It’s possible that a boat that’s going by will create a wake that seems like it would be fun to jump, but it’s quite easy to lose control of the Jet Ski and end up landing awkwardly or, even worse, upside down. When going at full speed, it can take Jet Skis up to 300 feet to come to a complete stop, so it’s important to keep an eye out for other Jet Skis, boats, and swimmers.
You should never transport more people on your Jet Ski than the manufacturer recommends. Even while it may be tempting to put a young child in the front seat, the law requires that all passengers sit behind the driver.
Last but not least, never lend your Jet Ski to a driver who is not properly licensed. Accidents are inevitable, but they are more likely to occur when the operator lacks the education and expertise necessary to handle a vessel with such a high level of power. Not only will following these and other safety standards help lessen the likelihood of accidents, but they won’t affect how much fun you have jet skiing.
You have the ability to add an additional layer of protection, which will protect your Jet Ski. Find out more about the types of coverage available for your personal watercraft.
Given that their acceleration is comparable to that of motorcycles, Jet Skis are not toys to be played with. Learn how to ride a Jet Ski while maintaining a high level of safety.