Like driving a car, operating a watercraft can be very dangerous if safety precautions are not properly adhered to and operators are not cautious when behind the controls. Many people see others riding jet-skis and assume there’s nothing to it. This couldn’t be further from the truth; the bulk of being safe on the water comes back to you.
There are plenty of accessories for your jet-ski that will greatly increase its level of safety for both operator and passenger. Safety keys to stop the engine in case you come off, actual safety packs with buoyant rope, lights and whistles, and throw lines for hauling anyone who falls off back in safely. There are even snap-on fenders so that your jet-ski won’t be damaged if you run into something you can’t see just under the surface of the water. Click here to check out the range of gear – including jet-ski-appropriate footwear – that is available from retailers like JSW Powersports.
Like the rules of the road, every state has a different set of rules and laws when it comes to watercraft and it’s important to familiarise yourself with them. As a rule of thumb, though, make sure you have a Personal Watercraft Licence and that you have it on you at all times. Keep within speed limits, always respect right of way, and keep noise to a minimum when near residential areas.
Jet-Skis Are Not Nocturnal
Don’t ride your jet-ski at night. It’s hard to see where you’re going, it’s hard to see where other craft are, and it’s hard to see if there are people in the water or not. Plus, if you come off your jet-ski at night, it’s going to be hard to find it again and you might find yourself stranded in rough surf with no way to attract attention. There are so many ways you can endanger yourself and others when riding at night, so it’s better not to do it at all.
Familiarise Yourself with the Area
Getting the lay of the land (or water) before heading in with your jet-ski, particularly if you’ve never ridden in that area before, is a really good idea. Consult marine maps to see where the water is deeper and shallower so you know where it’s safer to ride. You don’t want to be travelling at top speed only to hit a hidden sandbank a foot-and-a-half under the water. Taking a moment to familiarise yourself with the area first could save you a lot of pain and money in the long run.
Know How to Reboard
You are going to come off your jet-ski at some point – it’s inevitable. When you do, if you’re prepared, you’ll be completely unharmed and ready to go again. Sometimes, though, if the crash is severe enough, you might accidentally flip your jet-ski. This means you’ll need to know how to right and then reboard your jet-ski without injuring yourself. This, when you’re in deep water with nowhere to anchor yourself, is easier said than done. Do your homework and learn how this is done.
Staying safe on the water is a responsibility that should be taken very seriously. While you want to have a good time out there, it’s important that you’re aware of the risks and ready to respond should anything go wrong. You should also be doing all you can to place yourself, and others, as far out of harm’s way as possible.
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