Avoid a Tampa Jet Ski Accident with These Safety TipsTrusted Content
Legally reviewed by:Erik Abrahamson, J.D. January 23, 2014
While operating a jet ski can be a great way to enjoy some fun on the open water in our area, it only takes one mistake to cause a Tampa jet ski accident that results in innocent people getting seriously hurt.
Observing the jet ski safety tips below can help you operate these vessels safely in our area.
Understand and Obey Applicable Boating Regulations
To begin with, it is important to understand that jet skis, or personal watercraft, are considered boats in our waterways. As such, operators must comply with all applicable boating regulations while they are on open water, ranging from observing all posted marking and signs to appropriately heeding the right of way to other vessels.
Younger Operators May Need a Boating Safety Education ID Card
The state of Florida requires individuals who are aged 21 and under to have a boating safety education ID card in order to operate a boat with 10 horsepower or more. Individuals who are aged 14 and under are not permitted to operate a jet ski.
Operators between the ages of 15 and 21 need to have both their boating safety education ID card as well as a photo ID on their person while they are operating a vessel. Florida residents can obtain certification by passing an online course accepted by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Exercise Caution when Renting a Jet Ski
Learning the basics of operating a jet ski is so simple that many first time rental operators have little difficulty in getting out on their own and enjoying a great time on the water. Unfortunately, this ease of use causes some operators to quickly become overconfident and put themselves in harm’s way.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board, nearly a quarter of all jet ski accidents involve rental operators. The NTSB also found that about a third of all operators involved in jet ski accidents had operated jet ski less than 10 times before the incident took place.
Other Jet Ski Safety Tips
Some other good safety practices to follow when operating a jet ski include:
- Wear an approved personal flotation device
- Do not operate a jet ski under the influence of alcohol
- Avoid distractions from other vessels or people on the shore
- Fuel up before heading for open water
- Be sure you have enough fuel to return safely
- Be aware of your limitations and ere on the side of a caution while operating the vessel