Jet Ski Regulations You Should Be Aware Of

Nothing beats the thrill of riding the waves on a jet ski, but it doesn’t come without its dangers. All jet ski enthusiasts should be aware of the regulations in place to enure they can enjoy themselves, whilst also minimising the risk of accidents, protecting the environment, and promoting responsible behavior on the water. 

Jet Ski Regulations in the UK


Personal Watercraft Code of Practice

The Personal Watercraft Code of Practice is a set of guidelines developed by the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and outline the safety rules and best practices that should be followed when operating a jet ski in the UK.

UK governance rules can be found here.

Speed Limits

Jet ski riders are required to observe speed limits when out on the water. Speed limits can be permanent or temporary and may be indicated by buoys, signs, or other markers. In some cases, speed limits may be based on environmental factors, such as the presence of wildlife or sensitive ecosystems. Any violators may be fined or have their jet ski license revoked.

Safety Equipment and Clothing

Jet ski riders are required to wear personal flotation devices (PFDs) at all times while on the water.

Right of Way

Right-of-way rules dictate who has the right of way in certain situations, such as when two watercraft are approaching each other head-on. When meeting other watercraft, both riders should steer to the right and pass each other on their left side. When overtaking another watercraft, the overtaking rider should give way to the slower craft and pass on the left side.

Ignoring right-of-way rules can be dangerous for other water users and can lead to fines or other penalties for the offending rider.

Buoys and Flags

Buoys and flags are used to warn jet skiers, and other people who use the water, about dangers, speed limits, and other important information. There are several types of buoys and flags used in the UK, including warning buoys, speed limit buoys, and dive flags.

Warning buoys can show dangers like rocks or shallow water, while speed limit buoys show how fast you can go in a certain area and dive flags indicate the presence of divers in the water and are used to alert jet ski riders to the need for caution.

Liability in Case of Accidents

Jet ski riders who cause accidents or injuries may be held liable for any damages or injuries resulting from the accident. This can include medical expenses, property damage, and even legal fees, if a lawsuit is filed.

Riders found to have violated regulations, such as exceeding speed limits or operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol, may face increased liability and be held responsible for any resulting damages or injuries.

Environmental Impact

Jet skiing can have a negative impact on the environment, particularly in areas where sensitive ecosystems are present. Riding in shallow waters, for example, can disturb wildlife and damage fragile habitats. Noise pollution can also disrupt the natural environment and cause stress to wildlife. 

By following regulations related to jet skis, riders can help prevent accidents, protect the environment, and ensure that everyone can enjoy the waterway safely and responsibly. 

GJW Direct has provided comprehensive insurance for over 195 years. Contact us today for a quote and start enjoying your jet skiing experience.

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