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Restrictions for jet skis and personal watercraft

3 September 2012

Water enthusiasts must adhere to current water and speed restrictions along the metropolitan coast, as well as the necessary regulations when operating a personal watercraft or Jet Ski.

DPTI’s Director Transport Safety Regulation, Trent Rusby said with warmer weather arriving owners who enjoy taking their vessels along the metropolitan shoreline should be aware of current restrictions.

“This time of year sees a massive increase in the number of people flocking to beaches and the river. Regulations are in place to maximise safety and minimise noise and annoyance for others in the water.

“These restrictions are in place to ensure everyone in the water is safe. With the warmer months upon us, we expect the coast to become a hive of activity,” Mr Rusby said.

“Personal watercrafts, often called jet skis, are motorised vessels and as such must comply with the same rules as other water vessels.”

Jet ski operators must be at least 16 years of age, and hold a valid recreational boating licence and wear appropriate safety gear and Personal Floatation Devices.

Due to safety concerns, jet ski operators must not venture more than two nautical miles from the shoreline without permission from the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure.

“It is also important to ensure your watercraft is registered and the appropriate ‘ridesmart’ stickers are placed on the vessel,” Mr Rusby said.

“Jet ski operators must not exceed the 4 knot speed limit in place within 200 metres of the shore along the metropolitan coast from Outer Harbour to Sellicks Beach.”

Restriction are also in place through some of the regional areas including Eastern Cove, Southend, Beachport, Meningie and the backwaters off of the River Murray.

Boating enthusiasts should also note that speeds must be reduced when nearing waters populated by swimmers. Personal watercrafts must maintain a distance of 50 metres from swimmers at all times.

In addition, a prohibition on the operation of personal watercrafts is in effect at Encounter Bay between 1st of May and the 30th of September each year.

Local councils also have bylaws which restrict or prohibit the launch or retrieval of personal watercrafts on beaches.

Operators should consult their local council before hitting the beach to find out any applicable rules in the area.

For more information on the safe use of personal watercrafts, please visit the SA Government boating pages.


Jet ski