Four tips for PWC (jet-ski) safety this summer

Personal watercraft (jet-skis) are fast, fun and exciting, but they can also be a risk if you don’t ride them safely

To protect yourself and others, here’s what you need to remember next time you jump on one.

1. Travel at a safe speed

When you’re within 50 metres of swimmers, boats and jetties, the speed limit is 5 knots or 9kmph. The same applies when you’re 200 or 500m from the shoreline, depending on where you are and within 100m of a dive flag.

No boating zones are clearly marked by beacons. Check them out as you approach any beach setting. These areas are for swimmers only so you should not be landing on the beach in these zones.

2. Limit the circle work

Irregular Riding or ‘freestyling’ is not permitted within the 5 knots zones.    

While freestyling is allowed out wide, you must always maintain a proper lookout for other vessels when doing circle work.

Safe Transport Victoria has seen collisions and serious injuries from this activity.

Please remember, there is no injury insurance in your PWC registration fee, so consider what protections you have in other policies.

Jetski safety

3. Always wear a lifejacket and protective clothing

Correct clothing will protect you from internal injuries from water jets should you fall off or come near the outlet of a jet-ski, while a well-fitted lifejacket can keep you afloat if you get separated from your jet-ski or are unconscious in the water.

Suitable clothing could be a wetsuit or even long pants.

4. Check your battery and fuel before you hit the water

Break downs by PWCs are becoming more common so it's good to be prepared.  

Carry a means of calling for help and carry it on you - if you do find yourself in a breakdown situation call 000.

You must also make sure you are carrying your marine licence with a PWC endorsement.

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