Big crackdown on irresponsible PWC riders
A RECENT spate of incidents and public concern have prompted a crackdown on riders of personal watercraft (PWC).
A blitz has been launched on rogue PWC riders, with more water police hitting hot spots and fining those who break the rules.
Coast Guard Caloundra commander Joe Allen explained the behaviour of some PWC riders was a danger to themselves and others.
“You have to make sure you’re not riding too quickly or too closely to someone else. Given that PWCs weigh more than 300kg and can reach speeds of 100kph in less than 10 seconds, a bad crash could be fatal,” he said.
“It’s vital to keep a good lookout we’re seeing people leaping over waves not realising someone else is on the other side, or taking a sharp turn directly into someone else.”
Boating incident experts liken a PWC crash to two motorbikes colliding and riders have suffered broken bones and in some cases life-altering injuries.
“To combat this trend, water police are putting more resources into compliance. Riders, and all those on or being towed by the PWC, must wear a life jacket, keep their distance from others, travel at a safe speed and keep a good lookout at all times,” Joe added.
Speed and distance rules vary depending on location, for example six knots applies where there is signage, within 50m of swimmers and 200m of the shore. Riders should brush up on the rules and practise judging distances.
PWC manufacturers and riders have developed a Responsible Riding code of conduct and riders are encouraged to commit to it.