Big crack­down on ir­re­spon­si­ble PWC riders

Sunshine Coast Daily - Caloundra Weekly - - NEWS - JOHN GASPAROTTO

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.

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