When the heat is on, and you head to the local lakes and rivers to cool down, it is important to keep safety in mind. Jetskis are exciting watercraft to explore the local waterways. However, when not ridden properly they can lead to serious accidents for yourself and others out enjoying the water. As Jetski injury attorneys we’ve seen hundreds of cases that could have been avoided. Here we offer safety tips to help avoid accidents when enjoying your watercraft.
Read The Operator’s Guide
This is a simple step that will not only keep you safe but also make riding your watercraft more enjoyable. It is important to understand all the features of your jetski so you can operate it safely.
Remain Coast Guard Compliant
Make sure you understand local watercraft laws, so you have all the required equipment before you head out on the water.
Secure Your Engine Cutoff
Engine cut-off switches prevent unnecessary accidents if you should be thrown from your jetski. Once ejected, you have a dangerous runaway jetski that can cause serious harm or even death to others on the water. Always be sure to attach your engine cutoff lanyard to your person, or your life jacket so you can cut the engine should you be ejected.
Wear a Personal Flotation Device (PFD)
Both the rider and operator of a jetski must wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved PFD. Along with your PFD, it is strongly advised you wear protective clothing such as a wet suit or snug clothing. This can help avoid internal injuries if you are thrown from your jetski or if you come into contact with the jet thrust nozzle spray. You can also avoid injuries by wearing appropriate footwear and gloves as well as goggles.
Don’t Overload Your Jetski
Never ride your jetski with too many passengers or while trying to carry too many items.
You need to be hyper-aware of your surroundings as you never know when you might encounter swimmers, other watercraft, wildlife, or divers who can come into your path and cause an accident. Be sure you keep a safe distance from other watercraft and people in the water. Although wake jumping can be thrilling it is also very dangerous and should be avoided.
Check the Weather
Never head out on the water without checking weather conditions. Keep an eye on the skies and be aware of things such as rising winds. Head back to shore at the first signs of possible changing weather.
Read Navigation Signs
Make sure you obey signs posted along the way, so you don’t enter a restricted or dangerous area. You also might notice signs such as “NO WAKE” or “RIGHT OF WAY” that tell you where you can and can’t travel. You want to be sure you understand all right-of-way rules.
Don’t Drink and Ride
It is against the law to consume alcohol or drugs before or while operating any kind of watercraft including jetskis.
Be sure to maintain a safe speed so you can safely stop or alter your course easily. Proceed slowly until you are out on open water away from shore. Keep in mind in order to steer you require throttle power.
If you follow these rules and always stay in sight of shore, you can reduce the risk of jetski accidents. It is also strongly recommended you never operate a jetski or allow others to use your jetski without first taking a boating safety course.
If you are injured in a jetski accident it could be due to operator negligence or issues with the jetski design. As experienced jetski injury attorneys, we can assist with claims for damages. Contact Malley Law today.