The popularity of personal watercrafts has exploded in recent years around
the world, and Hawaii is certainly no exception. There are dozens of rental
companies throughout the islands offering a variety of high-powered ocean
sleds to eager enthusiasts, in an industry that has enjoyed the benefits
of this increased popularity.
Recent high-profile accidents involving personal watercrafts, however,
have increased concern about the potential dangers the machines pose to
ocean-goers. In August of 2012, California resident Kristen Fonseca was
involved in a high-speed watercraft collision at Keehi Lagoon and died
soon after as a result of a traumatic brain injury. Tyson Dagley, the
Australian tourist who was operating the watercraft that collided with
Fonseca's, was arrested and pleaded "no contest" to charges
related to Fonseca's death. He was sentenced to time served, fined
$78,000, and released from custody to return to Australia.
A similar incident in Georgia in July, 2012, saw the stepson of pop superstar
Usher and another child critically injured after being struck by a personal
watercraft at a recreational site.
It is crucial for operators of such personal watercraft to be aware of
safety measures to prevent such tragedies. Researchers at the University
of Florida have found that inexperienced operators are responsible for
95% of all injuries related to personal watercraft injuries.
Below are some tips to Avoid Jet Ski Injuries:
- Always wear a properly rated personal flotation device and protective eyewear.
- Always wear a lanyard attached to a "kill switch" in the event
of being separated from the watercraft.
- Wear a whistle around your neck in the event of the need to summon help.
- Children should always wear a protective helmet, and never operate a personal
watercraft without adult supervision.
- Be aware of other watercrafts and vessels in the vicinity.
- Keep a safe distance from other vessels in the area.
- Never operate a personal watercraft after consuming alcohol.
- Personal watercrafts are, by law, a motorboat like any other, and are required
to abide by the same maritime rules and regulations.
If you've been involved in an accident or personal injury through someone
else's negligence or carelessness, they can be held responsible and
liable. Give us a call, or write to us. We can help.