Over 20 million Americans participate in personal watercraft activities each year, and riding jet skis is one of them. The sky's the limit when you're riding a jet ski. You can glide past other watercraft and be in the lead, or you can just cruise along at your own pace. Either way, it's a great way to enjoy the water.
Riding a jet ski is a great way to have fun on the water. Jet skis are small, personal watercraft that can reach speeds up to 55-60 mph. They are powered by an engine that drives a pump that pushes water into the jet stream located at the back of the craft.
When you ride a jet ski, you sit on top of it, rather than inside like in other boats or ships. You also have more control over what you can and can't do.
However, when riding a jet ski, you must maintain certain precautions. The company you are renting from most likely offers jet ski rental insurance. It's something that any smart personal watercraft rental (PWR) company or agency would do. Their insurance will protect their jet skis, but who will protect you? That jet ski rental insurance won't be enough to save you from unwanted accidents or injuries. So, you have to be responsible for your personal safety.
Having said all that, here are a few jet ski safety tips you must know before going on a ride on one:
Wear a Life Jacket
Amongst boating accident victims in 2017 in the US, 89% of those who drowned weren't wearing life jackets. Back in 2000, this number was 86% and 88% in 2005. Wearing life jackets would've prevented most of these fatalities.
When you're on a jet ski, the best way to stay safe is to wear a life jacket. Wearing a life jacket gives you more control over your body in the water and helps keep you from being dragged under the water or flipped by waves.
If you do fall off the jet ski, wearing a life jacket will keep your head above water so that you can breathe and be rescued quickly. When wearing a life jacket, you should always tie yourself to the jet ski so that if it does tip over or go into the water while you are riding, you will still be attached to it and not be separated from it by waves or current.
Put On a Watercraft Helmet
Putting on a watercraft helmet is one of the most important safety tips you can follow. It's not just about protecting your head from injury. It's also about protecting your hearing.
When riding a personal watercraft, there are many possible reasons why you might have to stop suddenly. This could include a collision with another boater or the shoreline. In the event of a crash, you may find yourself thrown off the craft and into the water. Without a helmet on, this could result in serious injuries such as head trauma and hearing loss.
To keep yourself safe while riding your personal watercraft, make sure that you always wear a helmet that meets all government and local or national coast guard standards for watercraft helmets.
Check If the Jet Ski Has the Necessary Equipment
As per the US Coast Guard, jet skis are Class A vehicles. So, they must have equipment like a fire extinguisher, backfire flame arrestor, ventilation system for sudden fires, etc. The jet ski you ride must also have a horn.
Never get on a jet ski if it doesn't have these things. Such jet skies are legally forbidden to go out into the open waters. You should ask the jet ski rental beforehand whether or not they have these things on board.
Do Not Take More People Than The Jetski Can Carry
The most common cause of injury on a jetski is overcrowding. The weight of more than two people on a single jetski can cause the watercraft to capsize, sending all passengers into the water. So, if you want to stay safe and avoid injury, ensure that there's only one person per seat and no more than two people total on the watercraft at any given time.
Take a Good Look Around the Area
Before you get on your jet ski, take a good look around the area you are going to ride in. This is a very important step because it will help you know if there are any obstacles or dangers that you should avoid while riding your jet ski.
Make sure there are no hidden hazards, like submerged logs or rocks. Look for areas that might be shallow enough to cause you to tip over. It is also important to make sure that there are no other people or animals near where you plan on riding your jet ski.
Jet skis are fun and exciting, but it's important to maintain a safe distance from other jet skis and vehicles in the water. If you ride too close to another jet ski, you could be in danger of colliding with it or being dragged by its wake. You also want to keep your distance from boats, islands, buoys, and other jet skis so that you don't get caught up in their wakes.
The maximum speed of a jet ski is about 55-60 miles per hour, but most people don't want to go as fast as that. That's because overspeeding can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. If you feel like you're going too fast, simply reduce your speed until you feel comfortable again. You need to be sure that you are going at a safe speed and keeping an eye on your surroundings, so no one gets hurt.
So, the next time you're out riding a jet ski, keep these tips in mind. Ride safely and enjoy the experience responsibly.