MIAMI, Florida–On Sunday night a man in his 30s was found dead in Biscayne Bay, located in Miami. The man had been operating a Jet Ski. The man was found next to a very damaged Jet Ski after something had happened causing the tragic accident. Therefore, it is unknown at this time what had caused the death. It is not clear whether another WaveRunner was involved, or whether another person was involved. There will have to be determination of why this particular Jet Ski accident happened, resulting in another death of an operator of these types of personal watercrafts.
I have reported many times that personal watercrafts, including Jet Skis, are dangerous instrumentalities, and anyone operating a Jet Ski should be experienced with the operation of the Jet Ski, and basic safety rules. In fact, Florida boating safety laws require a watercraft livery to provide specific safety instructions, ensuring the person knows how to operate a Jet Ski prior to navigating one on the waters. In this case we are not sure whether the man involved in the death had rented the equipment and what kind of experience he had in operating Jet Skis.
Jet Skis can be a lot of fun and very exciting to go fast on, riding on waves and wakes from other boats. However, there are clearly many dangers to these personal watercraft, which can be operated at very high rates of speed. It is easy to lose control of a Jet Ski when driving and difficult to stop a Jet Ski going at a high rate of speed.
Operating these personal watercrafts at night can also be dangerous because it is hard to spot a WaveRunner operator at night. Additionally, there are many objects in the water that a person who operates a Jet Ski for fun, and is not familiar with the waterways might not expect to encounter, causing collisions at a high rate of speed. This would include going fast through a bridge, and having to maneuver out of the way of another boat, which could cause the Jet Ski operator to lose control and to crash into the another object like the bridge. In this incident although we do not know what caused the death, we do know the driver had been on the waters at night, increasing the dangers involved in operating this water craft.
I believe there should be more regulations pertaining to the operation of Jet Skis, and there needs to be more accountability on the manufacturers of the Jet Skis who continued to manufacture these personal water craft with increased capacity for speed. There also needs to be stricter compliance with Florida boating laws making sure those renting the equipment are fulfilling all the safety requirements as required before renting out these dangerous watercrafts.
If you are going to operate a Jet Ski, which can be a lot of fun, make sure to be careful, travel at a safe speed, and become completely familiar with the instructions on proper operation. It is also important that you are completely familiar with the rules of the waterways, recognizing that just like an automobile, a Jet Ski is also a dangerous instrumentality.