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Safety: Jet skiing operation isn’t a joke!

Jet skis are no longer the little machines they use to be back in the 70s & 80s. Their engines have grown to be very powerful. A 300cc small 2 stroke engine has grown to a 1500cc one, supercharged 4 stroke, capable of producing 250 hp from factory with speeds close to 70 mph. A very dangerous watercraft in the hands of the wrong individual. It’s possible, for an inexperienced first time rider, to go into a jet ski rental place and come out with a 60 mph personal watercraft. The internet comes handy with many web sites offering PWC safety courses and making it easy to learn by watching a PWC safety operation video online!

How old should the jet skiing captains be?

The personal watercrafts industry support a minimum age requirement of 16 to operate a PWC. Lately, most states are requiring training because the 900 pounds personal watercrafts of today, with the big engines, in the hands of untrained operators could become lethal weapons. Some state allow even younger teenagers to go jet skiing by themselves but they are wising up. Like with cars, there isn’t a national age requirement. It’s easy to see what is going to happen to the restriction free jet skiing we have seen in the past.

Should personal watercraft operating license be mandatory ?

Stronger safety regulations and rules will emerge making personal watercraft operating more complicate but, even though it would be safer than ever, the statistic will still show more accident than in the past. The reason for higher numbers will be because more people are buying jet skis every year. To look at the good side of jet skiing, a few years ago a kid, any age, could take out a motorized boat all along. Hey, don’t feel so bad about a 16 year old teenager riding a jet ski by himself, he could been riding an 35 footer offshore racing boat instead. At least, in California, they have to be 16… No bad!

Jet skiing versus Boating…

I was a full size boater for 25 years before getting into personal watercrafts and now, even though I’m almost 60 years old, I can’t get away from riding PWC. Unless you want to carry dry passengers with you, jet skis are easier to use, funnier, cooler and cheaper to buy. It’s a lot easier to use, maintain and store jet skis than it’s with traditional watercrafts. Jetskiing even give you a workout as a side effect. The jet sking sport is growing at a very fast rate. If we all, as a group of PWC enthusiasts, promote safe and responsible riding by example more people will join and use of pwc. Just ask yourself these questions honestly. And these are just the ones that came to mind right off!

Here comes the ugly side of the sport: The Jet skiing accidents.

Picture of PWC racing accident

I was at the 2006 Jet ski World Final Championship event Picture of PWC racing accidentat Lake Havasu, Arizona. In one of races for that day, 2 jet skis collided, while making a closed turn at a buoy right in front of the spectators, I was taking pictures, the jet skiing accident occurred so fast that it isn’t possible to see the exact hitting time. These racers go extremely fast and things get very confusing during the race so, after the hit, a Seadoo RXP that had been doing good was now idling near the unhappy looking racer while many other racing jet skis kept on passing dangerously close to him.

Water rescue patrol at the jet ski racing action…
Before anything could happen to the racer there was a rescuing Rescue jet ski patrol accident Picturejet ski patrol, with a little rescue sled in the back, taking him away to a shore safety area. The water rescuer patrol was provided and paid for by the event organizers. Nowadays you see patrols watercrafts at most lakes, river and beaches. I don’t know how much money the guards make but I think they are very happy!

What about personal watercrafts occupations?

Personal watercrafts are related to many occupations using different types of jet skis depending of the purposes of the jobs. Because their size and maneuverability, jet skis are widely used by the US Coast Guards, river police, and for emergencies by water rescue patrols around the world. A very handy rescuing vehicle, to get in and out, where a full size watercraft wouldn’t be able to reach in. The jet skis small draft make them ideal for landing at the beach and running where water is only a couple of feet deep. In reality, jet skis are mini jet boats that were originally designed only as a toy to be ridden standing up. Later on they were called PWC!

Jetskiing Hollywood as a jetski stunt man.

Another way to make money and enjoy jetskiing at the same time is by finding a jetski stunt job in Hollywood. Money should be really good doing this type of work since the risk involved are higher. Some time they require a whole bunch of jet skis in the production of a movie… Remember the “Water World” movie? It could also be in television series, where they use jet skis regularly… The “Bay Watch” show lasted for a very long time. When it comes to jetskiing, money can go in two different direction. It could be a big money eater or a good, thrilling, and fun money maker!

Is any money in personal watercrafts racing ?

Another jetskiing occupation, or job, is as a PWC racer. PWC racers at start line picture 39But to get the good money you have to reach the very top. The winners of top, professional, races can make money while using their racing jet skis, the money comes from the endorsing sponsors. Famous personal watercraft racer can also make money by setting up related shops, an online PWC store, and from making commercial videos!

You can’t just put all the work on God’s hands…