Long Island Jet Ski Accident
The summer may be nearing an end, but so long as people are still out enjoying the sun and water, there will be a possibility of danger. Take, for example, the following story of a Long Island man and his grandson: the two were jet skiing in the marshes of Brosewere Bay, which is near Hempstead. The pair, a 68-year-old and a 13-year-old, unwittingly steered their jet ski into a sandbar as they rode through the marshes last Friday afternoon, sinking the watercraft. Rescue boats were able to get close enough to the grandfather to rescue him, but shallow conditions prevented these boats from reaching the young boy. Enter: an NYPD helicopter, and its 5-man emergency crew, who were able to later rescue the boy.
Muddy, and covered in small cuts and bruises, the grandfather and grandson duo were pulled to safety. They were later taken to a nearby hospital, where they received treatment for minor injuries.
This story is yet another example of the importance of staying safe while enjoying recreational activities. Often, the things that thrill us also have the capacity to do us harm. In this article, we’ll take a look at what you can do to keep yourself safe when piloting jet skis.
Jet Ski Safety Tips
It’s not easy to memorize all of the following jet ski safety tips. Having a laminated set of these tips attached to each individual jet ski, or mounted wherever you house them, is always a good idea. Make sure everyone set to operate a jet ski under your command is well-informed of all the following rules:
- First things first, make sure your watercraft is outfitted with all required safety equipment. Also make certain that the watercraft is Coast Guard-compliant and has no structural damage before operating.
- When out on the water, adhere to all posted signage regarding speed limits, no wake, right of way and idle warnings, and make sure to heed all signs warning of potential submerged or semi-submerged outcroppings / hazards. Observe all boating laws pertinent to your area.
- Stay out of restricted areas.
- Know the weight limit / passenger maximum for each jet ski. DO NOT OVERLOAD a jet ski. Not only is this hazardous to each rider, but could cause capsizing and / or sinking of the vehicle.
- The driver should familiarize themselves with the engine cutoff lanyard. This springy leash affixes to your wrist and a kill switch on the watercraft. This way, if you fall off your jet ski, or are separated for any reason, the craft won’t continue its forward motion.
- Each rider should be wearing a properly-fitting, thoroughly-fastened life vest. Riders are also encouraged to wear tough, durable clothes, such as wet suits. Waterproof footwear, gloves, and goggles are also encouraged.
- When riding a jet ski, always stay in sight of shore. This will eliminate the possibility of running out of gas and trapping yourself out at sea.
- As with all motorized vehicles, seaborn or otherwise, do not operate under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It’s imperative that you remain alert, vigilant and aware of your surroundings. The lakes, rivers and bays where jet skis are commonly enjoyed are often heavily-trafficked with other recreational watercraft, water skiers, swimmers, and larger boats. Each of these present their own unique set of hazards. Keeping a sharp eye out at all times will help you avoid unwanted contact.
- Keep prudent distances between yourself and other watercrafts. Do not tempt fate by riding too close behind or alongside other water vessels. Also, be careful when entering the wake of other watercrafts. The water in the wake of boats, especially large ones, can be unpredictable and difficult / dangerous to navigate.
- Do not operate jet skis in inclement weather. Be diligent in checking local weather forecasts.
- Allow only legal operators to pilot your jet skis. Riders must meet age limits and, if applicable, must obtain the required boating licenses. Taking a jet ski safety and protocol class is strongly suggested for first-time users.
- Last but not least, ride safely! Operating a jet ski at unsafe speeds could result in bodily harm.
Kaplan Lawyers PC
At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we are here to fight for your rights year-round. The summer, however, is a particularly dangerous season. More drivers on the roads creates a scenario with more opportunities for accidents. Heat stroke, sunburns, and fireworks are all summer-specific dangers. Water parks and playgrounds, filled to the brim with seasonal visitors, are rife with potentially hazardous elements. So, if you have been hurt in a watercraft accident, or have been injured in any of these other ways, it’s important you retain the counsel of New York’s most prestigious accident law firm. Our compassionate and experienced team of attorneys are ready and eager to start fighting for your rights. For a free and easy consultation, contact Kaplan Lawyers PC today.