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Guest Article: PWC And Watersports Toys Usage Rules by Ross Ceaton


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How can you best prepare on a Superyacht that operates Jet skis and other water toys in a variety of locations across the world?

As the owner and Principal of a land-based Jet ski and Powerboat Training Centre, one of the luxuries I have is knowing that the byelaws and risks apparent in our day to day training should have been accounted for and minimised as best as possible through our standard operating procedures. A Superyacht however presents a completely different format to this. Why? Because whilst we are both affected by weather and sea state, the constant moving of a Superyacht to new locations creates additional checks that need to be carried out prior to launching any jet skis or other toys, to create the safest possible environment and minimum conflict with maritime authorities. This article aims to aid Superyacht Captains and Crew’sdecision making when looking to launch Jet skis and other water toys by offering the most recent set of worldwide Jet ski regulations compiled into one handy downloadable pdf document. It will also look at the importance of completing a dynamic/daily risk assessment prior to any on water operations and the benefits of setting up a Superyacht as an RYA Jet ski Training Centre.

2019 Worldwide Jet ski Regulations

‘What are the local rules and regulations for the area you are intending to operate in?’ This isone of the first checks to carry out, and can certainly be done well ahead of time to prevent any upset guests not being able to use the watersports equipment. For example, is there an age restriction for using a jet skis, do the guests need to wear a helmet, does the higher speed training need to be done a set distance away from the beach or another vessel, do the buoyancy aids need lights fitted and so on.

Please also remember that even within the same country rules can vary from region to region. The quickest and easiest way to find out all of this information is by the below downloadable 2019 pdf which has been broken down by country and cruising region. Whilst this pdf gives information, rules do change and therefore we disclaim ourselves against accuracy and would always advise Captains and crew to check rules and regulations prior to launching any equipment on top of our information provided.

2019 Worldwide Jetski regulations by Jetski Safaris

Daily Risk Assesment Completion  

Following on from looking at the Regulations, if you have met all the criteria to operate, one of the next things to consider prior to launching the Jet skis or other toys is completing a dynamic/daily risk assessment.

Why is this important? Well again as a static centre my instructors will have a good understanding day to day of where the risks are and how to minimise the chance of these risks causing a problem. As a Superyacht you will be turning up to potentially a new location with potentially instructors who have never trained or supported jet ski operations in that area before. They need to be aware of these risks for several reasons : 1) if Training guests they need to keep their training away from any hazards or local byelaws, 2) if guests are already trained and they are simply supervising they need to make the guests well aware of the risks and keep an eye on operations to avoid said risks. 3) We use the term ‘daily risk assessment’

because crew also need to be aware of the weather and how this may affect any on water operations in that particular spot.

Below is an example of our Daily Risk Assessment sheet which should be just one element of a Yacht Standard Jet ski Operations Procedures Document. By having a read through this example it should give you an idea of what to be looking out for. It also gives you the opportunity to illustrate your operating area and any risks, as this might sometimes be easier. Should you not have an up to date Jet ski Operations Manual Jetski Safaris offers a consultancy service to remotely prepare this document as well as RYA Training Centre setup assistance as well.

Daily Risk Assessment 

The advantage of setting up a Superyacht as an RYA Training Centre

From the above paragraphs and downloads it is evident there has been a real increase in regulations associated with jet ski use, specifically in the Mediterranean. Many maritime authorities are now looking for proof of certified riders.

When a yacht is successfully setup as an RYA Training Centre (of which there are currently over 400 worldwide) they are then able to certify guests onboard by running the RYA Introduction to PWC Safety course which takes approximately 1 hour. This certificate will then be valid for the duration of the guest charter of if owner/regular guests or crew for the season. These certificates are widely recognised and have a range of languages on the back for quick interpretations by the authorities.

If you would like further information on the steps to setting a superyacht up as RYA Training Centre and qualifying at least one if not more of your crew as RYA Jet ski Instructors then please email info@jetskisafaris.co.uk or visit www.jetskiandpowerboattraining.co.uk

Author : Ross Ceaton, RYA Jet ski Trainer, Owner and Principal of Jetski Safaris Ltd

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