Cool your jets: Maritime safety blitz launched

26 February 2021

Disruptive and dangerous jetski riders will be targeted in a maritime safety blitz across Sydney this weekend, after a recent surge in popularity of the craft.

Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said the COVID-19 pandemic has seen a 92 per cent spike in new jetski licences.

"Since May we've seen more than 9076 new jetski licences issued, that's up more than 90 per cent for the same period in the previous year.. We understand riding a jetski is a lot of fun, but we've also got a lot of new riders out on the water and we need to make sure it's a safe place for everyone," Mr Constance said.

"We've seen some really disruptive and dangerous behavior from jetski riders recently. It goes without saying, boating rules have been designed to keep everyone safe. Any unsafe behaviour can put others at risk and create a bad reputation for the majority of users who do the right thing."

Transport for NSW Acting Chief Operations Officer Mark Hutchings said the blitz was about ensuring new jetski riders were aware of the rules on the water.

"Education is key to reducing risk and increasing safety, particularly with the influx of new riders learning to navigate the waterways," Mr Hutchings said.

"Operation Responsible Riders will be carried out across all waterways in Greater Sydney this weekend, targeting speed, irregular riding and not keeping a safe distance from other boaters, swimmers, and fixed objects such as wharves."

NSW Maritime data indicates the top five safety issues related to jetski use are:

  • irregular riding
  • speeding
  • unlicensed riding
  • not keeping a safe distance from other boats
  • failure to keep to the right.

Operation Responsible Riders will conclude at sundown on Sunday 28 February.

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