It’s the time of year when you can put on your bathing suit and spend the day on the water enjoying the Sunshine State’s summer weather. There are plenty of activities like jet skiing to enjoy while you beat the heat, as long you know how to follow the rules of the water. Jet skis are a fun way to maneuver through the water and enjoy the sunshine, but if you don’t understand the watercraft and how to act safely on it, they can be dangerous. We encourage you to become familiar with proper safety precautions when using a jet ski to keep yourself and everyone else on the water safe.
1. Know how to operate the Jet Ski: Personal Water Crafts (PWC) are involved in 35% of all accidents with water vessels. Jet Skis are not involved in significantly more accidents than other watercrafts, but they are more likely to result in serious injury or fatality. The most common cause of accidents on a jet ski is operator error. By familiarizing yourself with the watercraft, you will be able to better maneuver through the water, know its limitations and avoid accidents.
2. Always Wear A Lifejacket: The U.S. Coast Guard requires that you wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket or personal flotation device when heading out on the water. Many of the drowning victims in boating and water sport accidents are not wearing a lifejacket. In the unfortunate circumstance you are knocked unconscious, a lifejacket will keep you afloat for someone to rescue you.
3. Have your kill switch attached: In the case that you are thrown off of a Jet Ski, there is usually a lanyard that can be attached to your wrist or lifejacket that will shut off the Jet Ski. This will keep you or anyone else in the water out of harm from an uncontrolled jet ski. This will also allow you to take the jet ski back aground after you get out of the water instead of being at risk of swimming back to shore with other watercrafts around.
4. Never operate a Jet Ski at night: It is illegal to ride a PWC at night due to the lack of visibility of swimmers and other watercrafts. Never operate a jet ski before sunrise or after sunset.
5. Avoid alcohol and drugs: The risk of an accident increases when you drink or do drugs before riding a jet ski. Your reaction time and inhibitions are diminished when intoxicated or high, and riders need to be alert and focused when on a Jet Ski to avoid obstructions or swimmers. Wait until you are back on dry land and done operating watercrafts before opening a beer.
Jet Skis can be a fun outdoor activity during the summer. By taking proper safety precautions and knowing how to properly handle the watercraft, you can avoid an accident and be able to enjoy your day on the water. In the unfortunate circumstance that you have an accident, remember to have your Jet Ski insurance card with you.
Fahs insurance is happy to assess your Jet Ski coverage and help you find the best options if you are new to jet skiing. Together we can help you feel safe and prepared for your Jet Ski adventures in Southwest Florida this summer.