Boating Safety Is For Life

Friday, September 6, 2013

Boating Safety And Accident News

My Rant About PWCs   The following are a sample of accidents involving personal watercraft, commonly and incorrectly called Jet Skis. (like calling all facial tissue kleenex, or all copiers Xerox). Jet Ski happens to be a trademarked name of Kawasaki. All of these occurred over a span of only 3 or 4 days. Imagine that this is a representative example of what occurs all year long.  Yes, one was in another country, but this is not just a USA problem. It is a worldwide problem.   All of these were avoidable.  Part of the problem is many people consider these watercraft toys. They are not toys! Any vessel that can go anywhere from 30 mph to 65 mph (and some go faster) is not a toy! These are boats and should be operated and treated with the same caution and respect as any motorboat.   Unfortunately a lot of owners allow their children to operate them as if they are toys and ok for children, but they won't let the same child operate their powerboat alone. Many states and countries set minimum ages, that is, no one under a certain age can operate them. Some states say they can if accompanied by an adult,  others say not at all.  Some require a special course for PWCs, others only require a boater education class or boater card.  These rules are not uniform across the US.  They are also widely (and wildly) ignored.  I have witnessed adults allowing young children under 13 to operate them alone.   But actually the worst operators seem to be adults. On the lake where I do most of my boating and fishing there are a pair of adult males who like to race around the lake, doing 360's wild turns, wake jumping and other tricks.  If they were the only ones out there that wouldn't be too much of a problem. But they seem to always do this when there are lots of other boats present with people skiing, wake boarding, pulling watertoys, canoeing, kayaking, fishing and sailing.  On a lake that is only about 3 miles long and a mile wide this is mayhem and just prime for an accident.  And they have happened. But this isn't the only place. I have seen the same kind of behavior all over the country.   I am not against the use of PWCs.  I have used and enjoyed them myself. they are lot of fun. When they were first introduced they became hugely popular, but it became quickly obvious that rules were need to control their use, so most states passed rules for PWCs.  If these rules are obeyed, PWCS can happily coexist with other watercraft and water activities.   What is required in addition to education is enforcement.  I have seen the town and county law enforcement out there only a half dozen times during the summer and the state officers not at all. In past years the state officers were out there at least a few times a month.  Why is this?  Simply lack of funds for enforcement, lack of personnel and lack of trained officers.  The recession, which is supposedly over, has reduced the presence of law enforcement on some waters dramatically. However, in areas where there are high risk facilities (spell that Homeland Security), like power plants, the presence has increased.  Boating law enforcement is just spread too thin. What we need is more enforcement on popular boating areas, and specifically enforcement of the rules for boater education, and use of Personal Watercraft.    Girl, 15, dies from injuries in personal watercraft crash Bay News 9 Hundreds came to Keswick Christian School on Tuesday night to remember Katie Yale, 15, the teenager injured Monday in a crash involving a personal ..

Police investigate Jet Ski found adrift in Reynolds Channel liherald.com
Police said that they received an emergency call at 6:30 a.m., after a commuter on the Long Island Rail Road spotted the watercraft in the bay by the Wreck Lead ...
   Police investigate Jet Ski found adrift in Reynolds Channel liherald.com
The Nassau County Police Department's Marine Bureau and the U.S. Coast Guard are conducting a search of Reynolds Channel for a possible missing person ...
 
Saudi woman dies after jet ski accident gulfnews.com The collision took place on August 18 at Al Mamzar Beach when the woman hit another jetski driven by her cousin who joined her from Saudi Arabia along with . 
   Bossier teens seriously injured in jet ski crash KTAL
Two 14-year-old girls from Bossier City are recovering after a jet ski accident in Arkansas. Two 14-year-old girls from Bossier City are recovering after a jet ski ...
  Teen's bid for jet ski laws cambrian-news.co.uk
A TEENAGER from Pensyflog is calling for tighter regulations on jet skis he claims played a part in an accident which almost lost him his leg last year. Cian Wyn ...

Jet ski wreck victims on the mend Hope Star
Two Louisiana teens injured in a Labor Day weekend crash at DeGray Lake have been moved into regular hospital rooms and are in stable condition, Sheriff ...
   Watercraft slams into fence 7Online WSVN-TV SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE (WSVN) -- A personal water craft slammed into a fence Thursday afternoon, leaving the vehicle's driver injured. Just after 12:15 p.m., .
 
  Carmi mayor charged with boating while intoxicated Evansville Courier & Press
CARMI, Ill. — Carmi Mayor Jeff Pollard is scheduled to appear Oct. 1 in Franklin County Circuit Court to face charges of boating while intoxicated and operating ...

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