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A day out on a Jetski: Common Sense Safety Rules

A day out on a Jetski: Common Sense Safety Rules

It’s that time of the year when everyone is slowing down for the cooler months here on the gorgeous Gold Coast. My family and I get out and hit the waters again with one of the most exciting motorised sports, Jetskiing.

We launch out at the Southport Spit and begin our jetski adventure. Enjoying the freedom of riding a powerful boat, with a great ride up South Stradbroke Island we were fortunate to see many jellyfish in the waters — quite a unique and amazing experience. Taking in the amazing sights, we relish a nice cruise throughout the channels heading back to The Spit.

What an amazing day out!

By Carmel Bellchambers

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The Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) in Southport reports that the most common emergencies they attend to are breakdowns and also people injured.

One example of an emergency callout was for a group of Jetski’s that were riding too close together. By not allowing enough space between riders, it resulted in a collision that damaged Jetskis and injured several people.

VMR Southport also recommends that each Jetski should have a towing pack. This is an extremely important accessory should assistance be required, to ensure that the Jetski does not incur more damage while being towed to safety.

 

SAFETY ON THE WATER IS FIRST

With so much thrill and excitement on the Jetski, I find that it is basic to use common sense to ensure a safe and delightful experience for us and for everyone else using the waterways. When safety precautions are taken for granted, someone is bound to get hurt.

Here are important common sense rules when taking the Jetski out for a ride.

  • LIFE JACKETS must be worn by each person riding the Jetski.
  • LANYARD (often referred to as a kill cord) must be put around your wrist as soon as you get onto the Jetski. This string operates the kill switch that will deactivate the motor should you go overboard
  • ENSURE POWER IS ON when steering your Jetski to maintain control. If the engine returns to idle or shuts off you will lose all steering control.
  • ALWAYS LOOK BEHIND both shoulders before making turns. The waterways is not your private playground. There are others who are using the waterways, so be vigilant.
  • KNOW RIGHT OF WAY RULES to avoid collisions.
  • BE AWARE AND OBEY the 6 knot speed limit and No Wash signs
  • BE CORTEOUS to other users. Do not spray others with the wake of your Jet Ski.
  • AVOID DANGEROUS ACTIVITIES such as jumping the wake (waves that a boat leaves behind) as the angle and height can be misjudged and cause you to fall off your Jetski.
  • ALLOW ROOM FOR STOPPING as the Jetski will not stop immediately just because you release the throttle or shut off the engine.
  • KNOW YOUR LIMITS and always ride according to your abilities

 

HAVING FUN IS EASY

Riding with caution and common sense is always a must. By following the basic safety rules noted above, each person riding a Jetski can really enjoy and appreciate our Gold Coast water playground.

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Each Jetski rider should be aware that the legal distance from vessels, shore line and swimmers is 60 metres. Keeping this distance obviously avoids accidents.

You are a motorboat, so respect and follow rules that apply to boats with power.

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KEEP YOUR Marine Rescue number saved in your mobile phone.

Marine Rescue contacts on the Gold Coast:

Volunteer Marine Rescue Southport: Radio VHF 73 or 91; Phone 5591 1300; www.vmrsouthport.com.au

Australian Volunteer Coast Guard: Radio VHF 73,21,22,67,81,82,16; Phone 5531 1421; www.coastguard.com.au

Point Danger Marine Rescue (NSW): Radio VHF 16; Phone 5536 9333; www.marinerescuensw-pointdanger.com.au

Volunteer Marine Rescue Jacob’s Well: Radio VHF Channels 16, 67, 73, 82; Phone 5546 1100 www.vmrjw.org.au

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