Call outs to PWCs on the up

The Coastguard has received up to 150 call outs to jet skis in just three months: a large increase on last year’s total.

From 1 May to 1 August 2013, the number of incidents logged on HM Coastguard’s database totalled more than 150. These ranged from mechanical issues, running out of fuel or even concern that PWCs were too close to swimmers.

In comparison to the same period last year, HM Coastguard recorded 95 incidents.

Chris Turner, HM Coastguard’s National Liaison Officer for Jet Skis and PWCs, said: ‘The majority of PWC users are responsible, but during the recent sunny weather we have received complaints that jet skis and PWCs have gone too fast and too close to shore. This is a concern to us as it’s putting swimmers and other beach-goers in danger.  

‘You need to make sure you know how to operate these powerful machines. The last thing you want is to find yourself in the water after being thrown off. This is also why we always recommend that you wear a buoyancy aid and ensure you’re using a kill cord, so if you end up in the water, the engine will stop.

‘It’s also worth taking with you a hand held VHF radio, so you can contact the Coastguard if you get into difficulty. A Personal Locator Beacon ( PLB) may be useful for more remote locations, along with mini flares and a charged mobile phone.’

Mechanical issues appear to be the majority of calls that HM Coastguard has dealt with in recent months. It is therefore essential to ensure that your PWC has been maintained properly and has enough fuel for your planned trip.