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SLOW NO WAKE MEANS 5 MPH, FYI
As we approach the Fourth of July holiday I thought I'd take some time to talk about jet skis and safety. I think many residents on the lake have or use jet skis. It is usually what I hear most, “This jet ski did this. That jet ski did that.”
While the thrill of a jet skiing comes from speeding across the water, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it responsibly. Jet skiers have responsibilities to other water users – as a well as themselves – to ride in a safe and sensible manner. It’s important to know how to stay safe and how to behave with respect to other users when sharing the water.
The following realbuzz.com guide therefore aims to give you a few safety tips as well as the low-down on jet skiing rules and etiquette – which will ensure you operate your jet ski in the correct manner and stay safe while you enjoy yourself!. (I'm not picking on you jet skiers but the jet ski is usually the craft that incurs the most accidents and gets the most complaints.)
Right of way
Boats and other vessels always have the right of way – so when you’re approaching an oncoming craft, stay to the right. Also, if you are about to cross paths with another boat or jet ski, the craft on the right side has the right of way. (Our lake has a traffic pattern so please know it and follow it especially when there others on the lake.)
You should always be on the lookout for traffic on the water. It’s best to know where other boats are and where they’re heading before you make a turn or cross a wake. Sadly, collisions are the most common type of accident when jet skiing – so take particular attention to what other craft are around you and where they are going.
Wave or wake jumping
If your course takes you across the wake of another craft, make sure that the craft does not obstruct both your own visibility and your visibility to others. Larger boats may not see you, and may not be able to get out of your way in time to avoid a collision. Stay a safe distance from other craft, 100 feet or more. Never follow a boat towing closer than 300 feet.
Speed limits are usually set by local regulations or by-laws, so follow the limits, (50mph) whether they are posted or not. It is your responsibility to know the local speed limit, and failure to keep to it could end up with you facing a fine – or worse still, being involved in an accident. In congested areas it might be wise to lower your speed accordingly, just as you would if you were driving a car. (Always observe the no wake buoys. I think some think this doesn't apply to them but it does. Please slow down in the coves!)
Wear the proper safety equipment
Wear an approved life jacket and eye protection to prevent water spray from obscuring your vision. Tennis shoes or deck shoes and gloves offer better control of your machine, while a wet suit provides protection from the elements. A whistle attached to your life jacket can be used to summon help in the event of an emergency situation.
Never operate your jet ski without the safety lanyard attached to you, as the lanyard will immediately cut the jet ski's engine if you fall from the craft. This safety feature can help to prevent bad accidents – so always use it!
Be conscious of the noise your craft makes. The best way to avoid noise complaints is to avoid operating at high speed near to the shoreline, waterfront properties and other boaters. You should also reduce noise early in the morning. In addition, always start the jet ski engine in the water, and warm up the engine before you set off.
It shouldn’t need saying, but don’t spill fuel, oil or leave litter or other pollutants where they don’t belong. Also, don’t operate your jet ski close to wildlife or aquatic vegetation. This will minimize the impact your craft has on nature, as well as spare the craft’s machinery from unnecessary damage.
Other water enthusiasts
Jet skiers must share the waterways with boats, fisherman, swimmers, surfers, and water skiers. You should keep your distance and respect their rights to safety, access and use of the water.
More on Jet skis...
Lets face it, jet skis are frowned upon among home owners and many boaters out there. Primarily due to the ignorance and lack of respect riders show there fellow water sport enthusiasts. By following these simple basic guidelines "for starters" we can all enjoy the stress free waters.
Whether solo or with a passenger, jet skis are a great form of summer fun on the water. It's important to operate jet skis safely and to always be considerate of others on or near the water. (Emphasize these guidelines to your guests as well. Remember if you allow guests yo use you jet skis you are still responsible. I think many of the complaints are about guest who do not know the lake rules and basic safety guidelines.)
We are lucky to have such a nice bike and walking trail around the lake. I've put up this video because now I have that ability and also because it makes allot of sense. I hope you enjoy.