jet ski (PWC) safety
High-powered Jet Skis (formally referred to as personal watercraft or PWC by the authorities) on Botany Bay are being seen in increasing numbers, with some anti-social and illegal behaviour. This can put swimmers, kayakers, paddlers and other users at risk.
PWCs are banned on Sydney Harbour, on Parramatta River and on the Lane Cove River so they have become highly concentrated in Botany Bay and on the Georges River.
REPORTING ILLEGAL JET SKI (PWC) ACTIVITY
The advice from Maritime Transport for NSW advice is to report dangerous and illegal Jet Ski driving by calling 13 12 36. You will talk directly to a product service officer who can contact the closest Boating Safety Officer (the crews on the patrol boats) and who will also log the complaint.
This is the quickest way to contact Maritime Transport for NSW. This really does help as the complaints are logged and the data is used to build a picture of what is happening in a particular area of our waterways.
The other method to submit a complaint is to go to the maritime website;
Select: Contact us
Select: Make a complaint
Select: On-water concerns and follow the form prompts to submit.
Whenever possible, and only if it's safe to do so, taking a photograph of the Jet Ski and its licence plate can help – but always avoid direct conflict with Jet Skiers. The licence plate is found on the side of the craft.
get to know the rules for Jet Skis
The Personal Watercraft Handbook published by NSW Roads and Maritime expressly states:
At all speeds, Jet Skiers must keep 60 metres from people in the water (or if that is not possible, a safe distance and speed);
At speeds of six knots or more, Jet Skiers must keep 30 metres from any other vessel, land and structures;
Jet Skiers must wear life jackets.
If you act in a way that is menacing to another person by a threat of personal injury or threat of damage to property, you are breaking the law and this may result in a court attendance notice and/or your PWC being impounded or forfeited.
On Botany Bay, PWC are not permitted to be driven in an irregular manner within 200 metres of the shoreline. Examples of driving in an irregular manner include, but are not limited to:
• Driving in a circle or other pattern
• Weaving or diverting
• Surfing down or jumping over or across any swell, wave or wash.
This means that PWC are required to be operated generally in a straight line within 200 metres of the shoreline.
Distances off when towing people
When towing at a speed of six knots or more, the driver must keep the PWC, any towing equipment and anyone being towed, a minimum distance of:
• 30 metres from any other vessel, land and structures (including jetties, bridges, moorings and navigation markers) or, if that is not possible, a safe distance and speed.
When towing at any speed, the driver must keep the PWC, any towing equipment and anyone being towed, a minimum distance of:
60 metres from people in the water or, if that is not possible, a safe distance and speed.
dolphins and jet skis
Jet Skis must stay 300 metres away from dolphins in NSW or risk an on-the-spot penalty notice of $1,320.
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and NSW Police have the authority to issues fines for breaches of the regulations.