Riding a jet ski is sometimes considered the best lake activity. With plenty of speed and maneuverability, they are one of the best ways to get around the lake. Even though they are relatively easy watercraft to operate, riders need to take certain precautions. Jet skiing, if done without care, can result in injury. If you plan to ride or rent a jet ski, there are certain safety tips to be aware of. Eaton Ferry Marina provides jet ski safety tips to ensure you have a safe and fun day out on Lake Gaston.
Jet Ski Safety Tips
Wear a Life Jacket
When it comes to jet ski safety tips, wearing a life jacket is one of the most important aspects of keeping yourself safe. Life jackets save lives and are the best thing you can do to keep yourself safe. Pick a life jacket that fits correctly and is in good condition. Learn more about life jacket safety tips.
Check for Required Safety Equipment
According to personal watercraft regulations, every jet ski requires the following equipment on-board:
Coast Guard approved B-1 fire extinguisher.
Sound signaling device. This can be a whistle or horn.
Emergency engine cutoff lanyard attached to the jet ski driver.
Vessel registration. Every vessel must have registration on board. This will need to be presented to the police if they contact you.
We also recommend a few additional items:
Two-way radio. This allows you to contact help if you run out of gas or encounter another issue.
First aid kit. Having a first aid kit is always a good idea in case of an injury.
Signal flare. Keep a signal flare on board in case you get stranded or need to call for help.
Inspect the Jet Ski
Check your fuel level and ensure you have enough gas to enjoy your day, but also make it back safely. Look over the body of the jet ski for any damage or broken parts. Side mirrors are required on jet skis, so make sure both of yours are in good condition.
Start Out Slow
When first riding a jet ski, take it slow. Only give a little power to the throttle each time. Familiarize yourself with how the throttle reacts to prevent unwanted acceleration. Test out the handling of the watercraft and understand how the machine operates. Remember, jet skis cannot turn without throttle power and do not have a rudder.
Take a Jet Ski Safety Course
If you have never ridden a jet ski before, consider taking a jet ski safety course. Like a boating safety course, these will give you an overview of helpful operating and jet ski safety tips. By taking an online safety course, you can be familiar with riding a jet ski before you hit the water.
A valid driver’s license is required to operate a personal watercraft. Make sure to bring yours along. Nobody under the age of 21 may operate a rental jet ski from Eaton Ferry Marina. Treat riding a jet ski like driving a car and do so with caution. Drinking and driving a jet ski is highly dangerous and illegal and you will receive a DWI.
Head Back Before Sunset
Jet skis do not have operating lights for nighttime use. Return to the dock or marina with plenty of time to spare. Operating a jet ski without night-time operating lights is not only illegal but also dangerous. Darkness can hide you and the jet ski from another watercraft. This increases the likelihood of a collision.
Maintain Safe Distance
Keep a safe distance away from other watercraft and objects. Drifting can occur in the water, so you want to give plenty of additional space if it happens. The further you stay away from docks, boats, and other objects, the safer you will be.
When approaching another jet ski or boat, show the intent of your direction and maintain it. You want to let the other watercraft know exactly what your course is. Making a sudden change in course can result in a collision with another boater. It is also a good idea to understand boating right-of-way rules.
Familiarize Yourself with Lake Gaston
Review a map of Lake Gaston and get an understanding of your location and ride area. Make sure to identify landmarks to help you navigate around. Know where restricted or dangerous areas. Respect no-wake and idle-speed zones. Stay away from debris or trees in the water. Jet skis can inject debris into their engine and cause damage.
Riding Jet Skis on Lake Gaston
Riding a jet ski, if done with care, can be one of the best lake activities available. By keeping jet ski safety in mind, you can have an enjoyable day on the water. If you would like to rent a jet ski on Lake Gaston, visit Eaton Ferry Marina! We are a full-service marina providing Lake Gaston jet ski rentals. Additionally, we have a variety of rental pontoons boats. Contact us today or secure your boat rental reservation online.