MARITIME Safety Victoria will put the heat on jet ski “hoons” after little sign of improvement in behaviour as the peak season comes to an end.
“A small but reckless group of jet ski operators are ignoring how dangerous their machines can be,” MSV acting director of maritime safety Rachel Gualano said. “Much like on our roads, irresponsible operation of high-powered machines, often without adequate experience, poses the threat of serious injury and fatalities.
“Every agency involved in ensuring all water users have equal enjoyment of our bays, rivers and lakes – including Victoria Police – has had enough of the behaviour of jet ski hoons,” she said.
During Maritime Safety Victoria’s ‘Ride Right’ summer campaign, more than 100 personal watercraft (PWC) riders were fined in a Maritime Safety Victoria crackdown alongside Victoria Police officers.
More than 450 riders of PWCs such as jet skis were approached – and while most played it safe, 67 riders received multiple infringement notices for flouting the rules.
The worst locations for jet ski hooning were found to be at Carrum, Port Melbourne, Safety Beach and St Kilda. Further enforcement action will now be considered.
Breach of speed and distance rules leads to a $317 fine. Riding an unregistered craft or riding unlicensed can cost $793. If a speed and distance rule offence, or operating unlicensed, is successfully prosecuted, courts can impose up to $3171 for each offence.
Courts can impose a penalty of $9514 and criminal conviction for operating an unregistered craft.