#coastguard – HM Coastguard is again warning people of the dangers of jet skis and personal watercraft (PWC) after a busy summer in North Wales.
Between 1 May and 1 September this year, Holyhead Coastguard dealt with almost 30 incidents involving PWCs. These ranged from mechanical issues, running out of fuel or even concern that PWCs were too close to shore or endangering swimmers.
In one incident over the recent bank holiday weekend, a man and a woman suffered serious injuries after two jet skis collided near Porthmadog. Another incident over the same weekend in Abersoch left a boy with minor injuries after the kayak he was in was struck by a jet ski.
Ray Carson, Rescue Coordination Centre Manager at Holyhead Coastguard, said:
"The majority of PWC users are responsible and often assist us during search and rescue incidents. However, during the summer months we have received complaints that jet skis and PWCs have gone too fast and too close to shore. This is concerning to us as it's putting swimmers and other beach-goers in danger. You should check if any bylaws are in place, stick to them and be respectful of others in the water.
"You also need to make sure you know how to operate these powerful machines. The last thing you want is to find yourself in the water after being thrown off. This is why we always recommend that you wear a buoyancy aid and ensure you're using a kill cord, so if you end up in the water, the engine will stop.
"Remember, if you see anyone in difficulty at the coast, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard."
Inspector Dewi Jones with North Wales Police said:
"Incidents involving inappropriate, unsupervised or careless use of sometimes powerful marine craft impact upon all the emergency services when our resources may be required elsewhere. Unfortunately this summer we have seen incidents locally where people have been injured with only good fortune preventing serious injury or worse.
"Working with HM Coastguard, RNLI and other emergency services I fully support the Coastguards warning and advice and ask all marine craft users to adhere to safety advice, act responsibly and consider others in the water so everyone can enjoy the pleasures of our beautiful beaches and seas."