Jet Skis

CG Boating Safety

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We just returned from Sitka on Monday. We were doing some boarding training with the State Troopers, State Park Rangers and Sitka PD using our PWC's. They're put up for the winter now, but we operated them in some pretty chilly temperatures; water was 47.3F and air was below 30F in the mornings. We had some pretty strange looks from the locals (not surprising, given the time of year!) and it got me thinking about boaters attitudes towards PWC's. I know there's been issues in the past, notably in Katchemak Bay, Kenai Fiords and some Mat-Su valley lakes. What does everyone think? Should PWC's be treated like any other boat and dangerous behavior policed better or is the solution just to ban the boats? I know this is a controversial subject, but this is a good forum to air your views! I'm listening.
 

Daveinthebush

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Same Regulations

Same Regulations

I feel that they should fall under the same regulations as all other boats. That means safety and otherwise. Back in New York they are a nusiance and should have a shooting season on them. Most people who run them seem to have no boating sense, know no rules and just don't care about others.

Kind of like silver season in Valdez...........no boating sense, know no rules and just don't care about others.
 

Gambler

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Everything has its place. . .

Everything has its place. . .

I have had both positive and negitive experiences with these.

If operated correctly, safely, and respectfully, I think these watercraft are not only a lot of fun, but also fulfill a niche for those people looking for a single or double occupancy vessel capable of exploring rivers/lakes/oceans.

Too many times, however, what you see is a younger (teenager) operator wanting to show-off or 'have fun' and doing so in a wreckless manner. I have seen countless occurances where the PWC cuts straight accross a larger boats wake in order to get the most air off of a jump. However, most 'operatable' waters usually have high levels of traffic and the PWC operators show little regard for others in the area.

Last summer, while fishing for Kings down at the Deshka, I witnessed 2 PWC that were outfitted for fishing come barrelling down the river with seemingly no regard for other fishermen or traffic. Because of their ease of manuevability they would whip in and out of people and traffic in their haste to get to wherever they were going. From my perspective it was amazing no one was hurt. (Oh, and btw, they were not teenagers . . . upper 20's to low 30's if I was to make a guess)

Without elaborating or citing other examples let me say this: I think PWC have their place and if operated correctly I have no problems being in the same water with them. However, usually this is not the case because of poor operator judgement and I find them to be more of a nuisance than anything else. Whenever I see them in the water I keep an especially close watch on them to try to discern their course or course-changes so I can be that much ahead of them when they do something stupid. (Not that I don't try to keep an eye on other watercraft as well, but experience has taught me that these operators usually deserve more attention than others)

I feel that stronger enforcement and perhaps basic seamanship or rules-of-the-road classes should be mandatory.

For what its worth . . .

-- Gambler
 

Jimw

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I would have to agree with GAMBLER at about 90% of his statement. I have been on both ends of the spectrum and ran across some jug headed people in boats that have the throttle down and not the slightest idea of what was going on around them. Operated correctly I think we can all share the water equally.
 

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