Three people received $500 on-the-spot fines for operating a jet ski without a licence on Northern waterways over the weekend in a compliance and education blitz which operated from Lake Macquarie to Tweed Heads as well as inland dams.
Roads and Maritime Services Executive Director Maritime Angus Mitchell said the $500 fines, which jump to $750 for second or subsequent offences and possible disqualification for obtaining a licence for two years, were issued during the weekend’s focus on jet ski speed, irregular or dangerous riding and belligerent behaviour during Operation Ride Safe.
“In addition, the owners of jet skis face another $500 penalty for allowing an unlicensed rider to use the craft,” Mr Mitchell said.
Member for Tweed Geoff Provest said more than 25 penalty notices were issued for various general compliance matters with nine of those relating to Personal Watercraft (PWC). Unlicensed jet ski riders, not wearing lifejackets and a lack of safety equipment were the most common offences across the area.
“If you’re doing the wrong thing, you’ll get caught, and if it’s not next week it will be the week after.
“Given it was a ‘zero tolerance’ operation, the compliance rate of 93 per cent was a good result as it shows that most people who are heading out on the water are following the rules designed to keep everyone safe,” Mr Provest said.
Obtaining a licence and passing the required knowledge test is the first rule of jet-skiing. Anyone operating a jet ski must be the holder of a NSW personal watercraft licence, attainable only after an individual has applied for assessment after passing their general boating licence.
In order to pass their licence test, PWC licence holders know to follow the signposted speed signs and to ensure to keep a safe distance and speed between a vessel and a person or thing, including another vessel.
Mr Provest said it was pleasing to note that of the 648 random inspections carried out by Roads and Maritime Services Boating Safety Officers, there were only six related to lifejackets.
“There will be a continued compliance crack-down through the remainder of the summer boating season, so please follow the rules and ensure the best possible safety for everyone out on the water.”
For more information on Jet Ski safety and licensing, visit https://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/documents/maritime/licence/personal-watercraft-handbook.pdf