Jet ski menace

A SPATE of serious injuries involving personal watercraft, including jet skis, has authorities on high alert, with the Georges River one of the State’s top spots for illegal activity.

The number of jet ski offences have more than doubled over the last 12 months.
THERE are more non-compliant jet ski operators in Sydney waters compared to other parts of NSW, with the George’s River among the top spots for illegal activity leading to infringements.
The popularity of jet skis and personal watercraft has soared over the last four years, with over 90,000 licensed riders in NSW, an increase of over 35 per cent since 2020, and the popularity of the Georges River making Canterbury Bankstown one of the top five Local Government Areas for newly issued licences.
During the first statewide compliance blitz of the new year, Operation Stay Afloat, NSW Maritime issued 186 official warnings and 81 penalty notices – 31.4 per cent were not wearing or carrying a lifejacket, 27.7 per cent were unlicensed drivers or unregistered vessels and 11.2 per cent were speeding.
Transport Minister Jo Haylen said that while jet skis were a lot of fun, “they’ve got to be used responsibly”.
“It’s great to see a new generation enjoying our beautiful waterways, but inexperience means they need to be extra vigilant when it comes to safety,” she said.
“Dangerous driving can be deadly, so ski carefully and look out for yourself and others.”
State MP for East Hills, Kylie Wilkinson said the river was our “very own water wonderland where locals from Picnic Point to Bankstown come to cool off and create fun memories with the whole family” and “everyone has a role to play in making it a safe place for boaters, swimmers and jet skiers alike”.
“Compliance blitz’s like these keep our waterways safe. It’s important that everyone knows the rules, behaves sensibly and is looking out for each other so people can keep making happy memories here for generations to come,” she said.