Centre for Maritime Safety

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Personal watercraft safety (PWC)

Ride safely and responsibly while having fun.

Personal watercraft (PWC), commonly referred to as jet skis, have been involved in a significant number of fatal and serious injury incidents and are a priority issue in the Maritime Safety Plan.

PWCs are fast, powerful and highly manoeuvrable. The most common PWC incident causes are lack of judgement, no proper lookout and excessive speed.

Knowing the rules, obtaining a PWC licence and learning how to ride safely is the best way to increase the safety of PWC riders, their passengers and others sharing the waterways

Tips to stay safe:

  • You and your passengers should always wear a lifejacket when riding, regardless of speed
  • Keep to a safe speed for the conditions and follow the speed limit signs
  • Always keep a safe distance clear of others. the shore, structures, other craft and especially people in the water
  • PWC use water-jet thrust to steer. Be aware that if the throttle is turned off suddenly, the control you have over the steering can be reduced
  • Always make sure the bungs are in
  • Always check the weather before you head out
  • Tell someone where you are going and your estimated time of arrival
  • A guide to the PWC rules and requirements can be found in the PWC Handbook.

Waterways We Ride

The PWC ‘Waterways We Ride’ behaviour change campaign videos, produced in collaboration with the PWC industry, promote safe and responsible PWC riding. Two videos have been developed – one on inland waterways and one on open waters.