Centre for Maritime Safety

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Personal watercraft: Stop it...Or cop it

Anywhere. Anytime.

The Stop it...Or cop it campaign

In NSW, an increased number of police and boating safety officers will be patrolling NSW waterways  as part of maritime enhanced enforcement activity (MEEP). Officers will target behaviour that increases the risk of crashes, serious injuries and fatalities. Such behaviours include speeding, riding too close to swimmers, or people in other craft and performing dangerous and intimidating manoeuvres. All officers can enforce the rules, which means you can be caught anywhere and at any time for doing the wrong thing.

There are consequences for not complying with the rules, including loss of licence, heavy fines and loss of personal watercraft (PWC – commonly referred to as a jet ski).

The NSW Police Force and Roads and Maritime also have powers to seize and impound PWC if riders have demonstrated dangerous behaviours.

Enforcement cameras have also been installed on the Georges River to help keep a look out for dangerous activity and support regular patrols.

The ‘Stop it…Or cop it’, campaign is to remind people in all types of craft that Police and Roads and Maritime are keeping a safety watch over our waterways.

Keeping the community safe

When people ignore or disregard maritime safety rules, they put their lives and the lives of others at risk.

PWC riders account for a high proportion of serious injury incidents (15 per cent of all boating injuries). Over the 10-year period ending 30 June 2016, there were 3 fatal incidents and 63 serious injury incidents on NSW waterways relating to PWC rider behaviour. A further 2 fatal incidents were reported in the 12 months ending 30 June 2017.

All waterway users owe it to themselves and to everyone else on the water to follow the rules and ride to the conditions. By making safe choices, trauma on the waterways can be prevented and lives can be saved.

The Stop it…Or cop it campaign is part of our partnership with Police and Roads and Maritime RMS to improve maritime safety, with high visibility enforcement to reduce risky behaviour. The goal is to change dangerous behaviour and create a safer waterway for everyone to enjoy.

Image: The "Stop it...Or cop it" campaign