The Danger of Jet Skis

Riding a Jet Ski on the lake or the beach may be an exciting summer pastime, however these personal watercrafts can be dangerous. They should be operated with the same amount of attention and care as when operating a boat.

Accidents and Fatalities

The most common vessel types involved in reported accidents were open motorboats, personal watercraft, and cabin motorboats. The vessel types with the highest percentage of deaths were open motorboats (48%), kayaks (14%), and personal watercraft (8%).

According to the Coast Guard 2019 Boating Safety Report: inattentive operating, alcohol consumption, excessive speeding, and having an inexperienced operator were the leading causes of accidents and deaths.

Injuries that are most commonly sustained in these accidents are:

  • Broken bones

  • Neck injury

  • Back injury

  • Spinal cord injury

  • Traumatic brain injury

  • Burn

  • Internal injury

Varying State Laws

States have individual laws and requirements for riding on and operating a jet ski.

In Delaware:

Personal watercraft operators must adhere to the same requirements s any powerboat owner. These requirements include registering the Jet Ski with the state of Delaware and having proof of successful completion of an approved Boating Safety Course. Children as young as 14 can operate a Jet Ski; however, an adult must accompany them. Once the child is 16, they can operate the vessel on their own - assuming all other requirements are satisfied.

It is crucial to be aware of all your surroundings when riding on a Jet Ski. Crashes between two vessels, passengers falling off at high speeds, and rough weather are all contributing factors in an accident.

If you have been injured in a Jet Ski or boating accident, the lawyers at Kimmel, Carter, Roman, Peltz & O’Neill are here to help. For a free review of your case, call 302-565-6100.

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