The sun is blazing, temperatures are climbing and it is watersport season! You’ve invested in fun with your jet ski and are sure to see some very positive returns. But all watercraft sports do require a great deal of care when it comes to your safety and the safety of those around you.
Having fun this summer, especially during the national holidays, is important and everyone should have a great time. This, however, doesn’t have to mean drinking alcohol or using drugs, especially when operating watercraft. Not only are police enforcement out in full force, patrolling for intoxicated boaters, but more importantly, drinking and boating endangers lives. So the first step in safely operating your watercraft this summer is refraining from substance use.
Also, while on the open water with your jet ski, ensure you are fully aware of your surroundings, constantly scanning for boating traffic and swimmers. As a further precaution for the sake of swimmers, turn off the engine when mooring or floating in populated swimming area such as beaches and coves.
For your own safety, keep an ignition safety switch lanyard secured to your wrist or life jacket in the event you are ejected from your vessel. Always keep your feet inside the foot runners and both hands on the control bars. Avoiding sharp and dangerous maneuvers is also ill-advised.
Overloading your jet ski is also not recommended. Not only does this actually put you at risk of sinking, many don’t realize water police actually have the authority to cite an overloaded watercraft. You should also never jet ski alone; think “safety in pairs.” Finally maintaining your jet ski motor is imperative. Periodically securing hoses and conducting routine maintenance can ensure you will not be stranded this summer.
Practicing common sense is the most important thing you can do when out on the water. Remembering a few basic principles can mean the difference between a fun day on the water and possible serious injury to yourself and those around you.