50 jet skiers fined in Operation Elanora

Fifty penalty notices were issued to jet skiers over the weekend with the top three reasons being not wearing a lifejacket, excessive speed, and dangerous riding. Picture: NSW Maritime
Fifty penalty notices were issued to jet skiers over the weekend with the top three reasons being not wearing a lifejacket, excessive speed, and dangerous riding. Picture: NSW Maritime

50 jet skiers were fined over the weekend in NSW Maritime's Operation Elanora.

This included two people who received $500 on-the-spot fines for operating a jet ski without a licence on a Sydney waterway.

During the weekend, 62 Boating Safety Officers carried out more than 900 random safety checks of boaters and jet ski riders over the two day compliance blitz across the Sydney basin including Botany Bay, Port Hacking and the Georges River as well as the Hawkesbury region.

NSW Maritime Executive Director Mark Hutchings said the $500 fines, which jump to $750 for second or subsequent offences and possible disqualification for obtaining a licence for two years, were issued during the weekend's focus on jet ski speed, irregular or dangerous riding and belligerent behaviour during Operation Elanora.

"In addition, the owners of jet skis face another $500 penalty for allowing an unlicensed rider to use the craft," he said.

"Fifty penalty notices were issued over the weekend with the top three reasons being not wearing a lifejacket (18 including recreational vessels), excessive speed (18) and dangerous riding (5).

"If you're doing the wrong thing, you will get caught and if it's not next week, it will be the week after.

"Given it was a 'zero tolerance' operation, the compliance rate of 90 per cent was a good result as it shows that most people who are heading out on the water in and around Sydney are following the rules designed to keep everyone safe. However, what was most disappointing was again the high number of jet ski riders not wearing lifejackets."

Obtaining a licence and passing the required knowledge test is the first requirement of riding a jet ski on NSW waters. Anyone operating a jet ski must be the holder of a NSW personal watercraft (PWC) licence, attainable after an individual has applied for and passed a theoretical assessment on top of their general boating licence.

"This weekend, we also came across an increased number of people operating under an interim licence or interim registration on their jet ski. The message to these less experienced riders is take it slow, learn how to operate your jet ski and be safe on the water while your experience grows. This same message is aimed at anyone who has not ridden their jet ski over winter and may have recently brought it out of the garage to enjoy over summer," Mr Hutchings said.

Wearing a lifejacket on the water continues to be the safety message. A correctly fitted lifejacket for the type of vessel or jet ski you are operating is essential for personal safety and that of your loved ones while on the water.

For more information on jet ski safety and licensing, visit https://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/documents/maritime/licence/personal-watercraft-handbook.pdf

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