With the Easter holiday season approaching, many people are going to be heading to the coast, dams, and other water bodies with their families, boats and jet skis in tow. But while jet skis can be enormous fun, they can be dangerous, too. Read Natal Power Boats guide to jet ski safety and enjoy a safe, fun holiday on the water …
Image courtesy: sisterbayboatrental.com
Jet ski regulations in South Africa
The South African Maritime Safety Authority has a set of general requirements for the recreational use of jet skis. Before you hit the water, know this…
- Jet skis less than 3 metres in length are not allowed on the ocean, except in specially designated areas
- Jet skis must be marked with an approved number, administered through a water sporting body
- The craft needs an annual certificate of fitness, issued through a SAMSA–authorised agency
- Jet skis must be operated and guided by a certified skipper with a minimum of an R-licence at all times
- Persons under 16 years of age, including those learning, must be supervised by a certified skipper
- Safety equipment such as a SAMSA–approved buoyancy aid and minimum 10 metre tow line must be carried on board.
Jet ski safety tips
Remember, it’s not just about your fun: When jet skiing, your responsibility is to other people in the water, and to using your jet ski in a safe and sensible manner:
- Never consume alcohol before or whilst operating your jet ski
- Jet skis can reach high speeds; too high speeds can result in nasty accidents
- Respect swimmers or water craft in your vicinity
- Both you and your passenger must wear approved life jackets
- Only speed up once you are past the shore-line buoys
- Stick to the recommended speed limit of the dam, river, etc.
- Give way to other jet skis or boats on your starboard (right)
- When approaching other water craft, alter course to starboard to pass port-side to port-side (left)
- Be conscious of people and other motor craft in the water around you
- Don’t make sudden turns or changes in direction without knowing where other boats or jet skiers are
- When approaching a large wake, ensure you are visible to other boats and jet skiers
- In case you fall off your jet ski, ensure that it’s equipped with a safety lanyard to cut the engine!
Maintaining your jet ski
With regular maintenance, your jet ski will provide you and your family with years of fun:
- Check the fuel and oil levels before starting the engine. Drain any old fuel or add a fuel cleaner and stabiliser.
- Check for loose wires, damaged or worn parts
- Clean and wipe your jet ski after use, especially if it’s been in salt water. This will prevent corrosion and staining.
- Drain any water from the engine after use
- Change engine filters and oil, and lubricate bearings and seals ever year
- Cover your jet ski when not in use to prevent UV damage.
Enjoy the ride!
Natal Power Boats wishes you and your family an incident-free holiday! If you are looking for a new or pre-owned jet ski, bass boat, water ski boat, or boat accessories, we can assist you – browse our website or pop in to our showroom.