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Jet Ski Safety

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 6 May 2011 | comments*Discuss
 
Jet Ski Safety Safe Children Kids Water

Jet skis are a popular form of water sport and are often available as an activity on holiday. But as much fun as they can be for families to have a go on, jet skis can also be a dangerous, especially for children and teenagers. If you’re going to use a jet ski on holiday, or at any other time, then it’s essential that you’re aware of safety issues, so that the risk of accidents or injuries is reduced. Here’s a look at some of the safety issues related to using jet skis.

Staying Safe

A jet ski isn’t a toy, it’s a water craft vehicle, so should be treated without respect and with safety in mind at all times. Safety doesn’t isn’t just important for the rider, but for other people or boats that may be in the water at the same time. Ideally, a jet ski should only be ridden and used by someone who knows what they are doing.

Depending on where you’re using a jet ski, and whether it’s in the UK or abroad, there may be variations in the minimum age limit for children to have a go. Some places have a minimum age of 12, whereas others may set the minimum as age 16, 17 or 18 years old. If you’re unsure, it’s best to check in advance with the centre, club or hire scheme you’ll be using.

Jet Ski Course

If you’ve never used a jet ski before, it’s well doing a course first. Not only will this ensure you learn all the safety basics, but it will also help you get to grips with the practicalities and skills involved in using a jet ski.

The minimum age range for doing a jet ski course varies depending on the individual centre or organisation involved, so you’ll need to check in advance to ensure it’s suitable for your child to do. Any children under 16 years of ages are likely to need to be accompanied by an adult.

All users of jet skies should be able to swim competently and be fine in water. Although in theory you will be on the water most of the time, for your own personal safety, you’ll need to be able to swim if you fall off the jet ski.

Basic Safety Checks

Although you may want to jump straight on a jet ski and get out in the water, it’s advisable to go through basic safety checks first.

Wearing and using the proper equipment will help add to your personal safety. A wet suit can help protect you from the elements, especially if the weather isn’t great, plus you’ll need a proper life jacket, too. The spray of the water can easily get in your eyes, so protective goggles can be useful for minimising the effect this has.

Gloves can be worn to retain a good grip on the handles and you’ll need to ensure you’re wearing appropriate footwear, that gives you good grip and control of your jet ski.

All jet skis should come with a safety lanyard, which is attached to you when you’re on the water. This is essential for your safety, as it ensures the engine will immediately cut out if you fall into the water. This is crucial in the prevention of accidents, so don’t be tempted to go in the water without one in place.

Don’t go mad and speed, however much of a thrill you get from it. There will be speed limits in place – check beforehand if you’re unsure – and there will probably be other people, surfers, swimmers or boats in the water too. Jet skiers do not have the right of way in the water, so must respect other people’s rights – especially for safety purposes – and ensure you act responsibly at all times.

When Abroad

Take care especially if you’re jet skiing abroad, as the rigorous safety standards and procedures might not be the same as the UK. It’s common to be more relaxed and laidback on holiday than you are at home, but if you wouldn’t let your child go unsupervised on a jet ski at home, don’t let your standards slip on holiday.

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