Police to tackle mounting jet ski complaints

| 16/04/2009

(CNS): Following mounting complaints relating to the use of jet skis too close to the shore and causing a disturbance to residents, police say, they along with Customs and Immigration Marine Unit will be clamping down and focusing on enforcing the law among users. “We are aware that some of the machines have been modified and are louder than normal crafts,” said Maine Unit Chief Inspector, Courtney Myles. He added that the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) are not out to spoil people’s fun but the law is there for a reason.

 

“Jet Skis can be very enjoyable to own and use but they are powerful machines which need to be used within the law for the safety of the riders, the safety and protection of the environment and the comfort of those living close to the water.”

The Marine Unit will make patrols over the coming weeks to ensure that wave runners are being used responsibly and inline with the law. Under the Port Authority regulations (2007 revision) no vessel, including wave runners, should be used in designated swim areas and Jet Skis should not operate at more than five knots when within 200 yards of the shore.

The RCIPS said in the interests of safety that jet ski users should always wear a life vest;  never operate a Jet Ski under the influenceof alcohol; learn how to operate the machine before use; Never ride close to other water craft and be aware of what is happening to avoid collisions; Never ride a Jet Ski without a lanyard and to always let someone know where you are going and your estimated time of return.

Anyone with information about crime taking place in the Cayman Islands should contact their local police station or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling Crime Stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.

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Comments (28)

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  1.  what we need is to license all boaters and charge a fee implement a ticketing systems which is being worked on but only god knows when that will come about , 

  2. Anonymous says:

    These water craft are no bigger nusiance than the Sunday party boat cruises that the police seems to be turning a blind eye to. The same rules that applies to the bars on land on a Sunday should apply to vessels also. I know for a fact that boats are on the water with DJ’s and loud speakers on Sundays and even this past Good Friday. Come on Marine cops, wake up!

  3. Anonymous says:

    To the poster who made the car analogy:

    1)  Cars have more social utility than waverunners.  Therefore we can accept more risk associated with their use.

    2)  Car owners are obliged to obtain third party insurance and have their vehicles clearly registered and marked.

    I can afford on these things.  But the people I know who have them tend to be dull insecure show offs who generally use them to impress the opposite sex.  I don’t want one, but I also do not wnat one of these selfish idiots killing or maiming someone.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I agree on the third party liability insurance.  I investigated this cover back in 2007.  My worry stemmed from a high speed PWC incident near Kaibo where a collection of miscreant youths barely missed our anchored boat near shore (and snorklers).  If that PWC driver had crashed into our boat and died, would I have been sued for the accident?    

    What I found out was that there is nobody on island that currently offers 3rd party insurance on its own.  Comprehensive boat insurance is typically only avail for existing insurance clients with home policies.  In those cases, only offered to those with a current water survey.  Contact Amar Sheow at Cayman Insurance Center, he may have some update on the third party insurance issue now.  Feel free to chimein if anyone now sells just 3rd party. 

    I think every boat owner should have some basic level of boating liability insurance.  Thanks.

    • Anonymous says:

      A new wave runner probably 12 times more than an illegal firearm is this the route we are forcing our youths? I can appreciate everyone campaigning on ensuring they use them safely but to consider banning, paying another $10,000.00 in insurance leaves me to question will we have to have liability insurance just in case one of our kids playing soccer kicks a ball and it hits someone crossing or will Rum Point bar have to get insurance just in case the two mudslides i bought there and went in the water to drink caused me to trip over an anchor?

      Red Sail have rented wave runners for years mostly to tourists who ride around the Rum Point area and no one was complaining about noise but as soon as our caymaninan youths start every one starts to complain. Is it because we are classed as second class citizens in our our country. Well hear me loud and clear the sea is mine and i’m going to ride anytime.

      There are laws stating that these crafts should not exceed 5knots within the 200 yard limit but this same law also requires swimmers,divers and snorkellers to keep inside this distance or have proper flags should they go beyond this.

      The sea is there for all to enjoy so lets all enjoy it in a safe manner.

       

  5. Anonymous says:

    DOE Marine Laws, RCIP Traffic Laws, Basic Vehicle Dynamics, Prisoner Speakers, Drug and Alcohol Prevention, Domestic Abuse, MADD and Birth Control should be mandatory and sustained discussion for all public and private high school kids.  If it is already, then it’s not working, and the approach should change to their level.  "Truth and Consequences", should become part of the regular school ciriculum prior to it becoming an RCIP, Fire Service call, or another avoidable tragedy of youth.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I think that many of these comments are valid, and I have advocated before (following the unfortunate death of the young fisherman in Bodden Town earlier this year) that we should have annual boat registration which should include: Marine radio, Flares, Life jackets, registered and insured trailers but most important of all, 3rd party liability and rescue insurance.

    The revenue generated annually would go a long way towards the enormous overheads of the marine police and enable them to rum more patrols and renew existing equipment.

    The one drawback is that it is every Caymanians God given right to take to the sea in a boat, many of which are either unfit for the purpose or missing their exhaust system…there is no way they are going to stand for this, so we are all just wasting our time talking about it.

    The only thing that will change things is when someone kills a rich tourist with a waverunner and they are uninsured…..the publicity will be very damaging and embarrasing for the Cayman Government who will be seen to be lax in it’s ability to legislate against this menace.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The term: WaveRunner is the trademarked name of personal water craft (PWC) producedby the Yamaha Motor Company.  The term "waverunner" has become a generic name for all types of personal watercraft.  Another popular name for a PWC is a Jet Ski.

    So from hense forth these water machines are to be referred to as: Personal Water Craft(s) or PWC’s.  Kinda like a moterbike. Personal and for the Water. Crafty.

     

  8. Anonymous says:

    Expand discussion beyond wave runners as I am a firm believer that if you take care and attention with the little things, the big things tend to take care of themselves.

    Revamp the marine license laws to incorporate all vessels, regardless of length or type.  I would guess that 50+ percent of boats are not registered with the Port Authority, and that a similar or greater percentage of trailers are unlicensed and uninsured, both basic violations of existing laws. 

    The problem is there is no quick and easy way on the water for an officer or other authority to see if a boat is registered for this year (current), or via a tag system as in all US states, who the legal owner of the vessel is for citations for noise violations (yes, you have the right to play music, but not necessarily to entertain the entire sandbar), speeding, out of date licence, operating too fast for the safety of others, too close to other vessels, etc.  

    A graded scale set realistically (ie not the current scale set way too low), with easy to see annual stickers and a numerical tag system would go a long way to identifying those that operate their vessels outside the law or in an unsafe manner; cite, fine, or charge them; and raise funds (more of which should go to RCIP Marine Branch) to properly police the waters.  There are well over a thousand vessels between the three islands, and a pittance of revenue derived from them annually, yet all agree they want better monitoring.  This cant be done in the current system as it cant be paid for and the Port / Police don’t work together on the issue.  This must be resolved and is very easy to implement.

    The police, with their many new vessels, should stop vessels randomly, or visit them when at fuel docks or at anchor to check for basic safety equipment, test operators for DUI, etc.  Of course its a bit pointless now while they have no tag numbers to check ownerships or issue citations against.

    Finally…to conclude my rant, all vessel operators should have to read at least chapters 4 and 5 of Chapman’s Piloting to learn the basics of proper night lighting and right of way.  This past Easter weekend it was often harrowing wondering which way an operator was going to go, with the best course of action on many occasions being to pull back on the throttle and let the other boater do whatever they wanted and then move on.   Many operators seem not to know that in a channel you pass port to port (left side of your boat to left side of the other boat).  

    This is an equal opportunityrant by the way.  Registration, safety equipment, and navigation issues seem to be fairly well split between Caymanian and expat boat operators from my observation.  I just hope some real action comes before a preventable serious injury or death leave everyone asking why was more not done and prevention is worth a pound of cure.

     

     

  9. Anonymous says:

    Noise?! This is what they are concerned about? This should be the least of their worries. While I agree that watercraft operators (boats and waverunners alike) need to be mindful of swimmers, and take extra precautions near the shore, I do not see where noise should be an issue.

    I feel very safe in saying that most of these crafts are not equipped with lights, therefore their use is more than likely limited to the daylight hours, not at night when most people are sleeping.

    As far as the comment regarding banning watercrafts, come on, are you serious? Good luck with that on an island!!  Yea, that makes sense.  Let’s take this mostly harmless pastime away, I wonder what kind of mischief these now idle kids can get into before that then becomes the next headline?  Cars are dangerous too, should we consider banning them as well?????

    At least these people are out enjoying themselves instead of shooting each other in the streets! Have you read the news lately?!  Patrol the waters and ensure the riders are following the rules, but let’s not get carried away here.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I totaly agree with:

    BIG RED NUMBERS AND LETTERS!!!  ON BOTH SIDES, LARGE, VERY VERY LARGE, READABLE UP TO 200 YARDS!!!!!!!!! 

    Something has got to be done!

  11. Anonymous says:

    I agree with the big green letters maybe they should add a flag or big yellow light to these crafts

  12. Anonymous says:

    Let’s be honest… The RCIPS are a bunch of incompetent jokers… they may as well be given row boats and clown cars to drive round in… they can’t solve any real crimes like murders, rapes or burglaries… 

    Honestly, who out of anyone living in Cayman has had any faith in the law enforcement of these islands since Derek Haines was cast out?! The Leadership is a joke and the work force are a bunch of moronical, lay-a-bouts!!

    The only crimes the RCIPS can actually punish are traffic offences… and that’s cus we only have 1 road… catching a speeder or  drunk driver in Cayman should be like shooting fish in a barrel!

    As for our waters… well there is just too much ocean and too little know how in our marine enforcement unit to catch any real criminals so sure, focus your energies on catching 16 year olds on waverunners speeding within the 200 yard markers…

    I suppose we all have to reconcile ourselves to the fact that if they can’t do the important stuff right we have to let them do the un-important stuff really well!

    Asif that’ll make up for anything!!

     

  13. Anonymous says:

    I agree they are deadly weapons when used disrespectfully to swimmers and snorkellors within the 200 mark zone.

    I have seen a high speed very near miss to a snorkellor andit was horrifying to watch within the reef which was less than 200 yards!  They are not lawfully allowed to speed up and down inside this reef, yet they race like they are in a race within this reef in North Side.  I have heard there has been numerous other near misses as well.

    I say to make every waverunner/jetski licensed to have large red numbers painted on both sides like a license number large enough to read within the 200 yard mark, so when we see them do this we can call the police and report the license number as we can read this number within the 200 yard marker or for whatever wreckless act we see past the 200 yard limit!!!  Then the police in that district can speed like an emergency call to the area and see who is out there and look for that number with the help of the marine enforcers as well.  However, if the police are going to take too long to respond, then to hell with it, it won’t work!!

    BIG RED NUMBERS AND LETTERS!!!  ON BOTH SIDES, LARGE, VERY VERY LARGE, READABLE UP TO 200 YARDS!!!!!!!!!  TO PHONE INTO 911 EMERGENCY SYSTEM TO REPORT WRECKLESS JETSKI/WAVERUNNER ACTS SUCH AS WHAT I MENTIONED ABOVE!!!

     

  14. Anonymous says:

    These craft are very dangerous especially for snorkellers and seaswimmers.  Ban them or restrict them to very limited marked areas within the reef before someone is hurt or killed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Since you have suggested banning waverunners because they are a danger to swimmers, at the same time why not try banning cars because of them being a danger to pedestrians.  Lets not talk about noise because while you’re at it lets ban boat engines because they’re too noisy.  I guess it would please you if we would revert to the cat boats. You are obviously a person with too much time on your hands and have nothing else to do but complain. Waverunner racing is a growing sport on the island and gives young people something better to do with their time rather than getting into trouble or using drugs.  People also need an outlet where they can go and have fun and waverunners are for the most part safe and constructive.

      • Anonymous says:

        I got such a good chuckle on your comment! You are correct on these people having to much time on their hand or wish they had a waverunner. Envy is a unsifisticated behavior perhaps Dr Adelston can implant a sensativity chip in their brain

  15. Anonymous says:

    Keeping in perspective with the topic, I actually agree that something should be done, not only in relation to wave runners, but also power boats coming too close to the beach.

    Only this last weekend while spending the day at a south coast beach, we had to pull our children from snorkelling out in the sea due to not only a power/speed boat almost running them over (the young man responsible was more interested in impressing the youths and girls watching him than looking at the children swimming ahead of him), and then later on the same day the same thing happened with a wave runner. 

    We should not have to fear this when taking our children for a day at the beach.  The sea is a huge and vast expanse and there is absolutely no need to be coming so close to shore.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Unless I am visually impaired, the marine police boats are usually tied up in the harbour and not on any sort of patrol, in the the north sound or otherwise.  They were out on the weekend and sat outside of the Kaibo.  Might check them for drinking and driving since they seem to damage their own craft every time they start it up.  We have been waiting for them to do something about the ever increasing number of waverunners, jet skis or personal watercraft, whatever you call them and the noise they create in the north sound coming dangerously close to us and other people around rum point. 

    It should be interesting to see what comes of this exercise.  I really hope for everyones sake that they move further out into the sound and leave those of us near the shore able to enjoy our time as well. Someone is going to get injured or worse if things do not change and soon.

     

  17. Anonymous says:

    Inspector Myles please utilize our marine fleet to intercept drug and gun runners coming to our shores. The mounting complaints we hear is to get a grip on violent crimes, murders,rape, assaults,robberies and the list can go on.

    Personal watecrafts are normally used on weekends by kids who are doing healthy activities, not by drug dealing,gun toting killers. I suggest you train you boat captains to stop tearing off the foot-ends, shafts and losing $20,000.00 props off your fleet and patrol and protect our coastline.

    I guess this is yet another decoy to cover-up the RCIP’S incompetence.

  18. Anonymous says:

    That’s a waverunner not a jet ski. They are two different things.

    • Anonymous says:

      Who cares what it is a wave runner or a jet ski .They both do the same thing run up and down make alot of noise and get on everybody nerves.

      • Anonymous says:

        I am a owner of a watercraft and i race them.I am a young caymanian tell me what do you want me to do go make noise with guns or go doing drugs. Everybody has fun somewere if you dont like the noise get ear plugs

        • Anonymous says:

          I must tell you the truth as a woman i have never been on one before and would love for some one to carry me for a ride.My only problem is when i am at the Kiabo beach and the beach beyond the Kiabo they come too close to shore in those areas .I am afraid they are going to hit some one soon and kill them .

          • Anonymous says:

            In answer to the person who said that she is worried that someone will be killed – As someone who previously worked in another overseas territory of the uk – this happened in Cyprus in the Sovereign Base Area.  A 17 year old faced a manslaughter by gross negligence charge.  He had to plead guilty and those who hired him the equipment faced similar charges.  The tragedy was that he killed his own girlfriend by going to fast too close to the shore.  IT will happen – beware and then there will be two lives taken – the one who is dead and one who serves the sentence for doing so.

        • Anonymous says:

          That’s exactly the problem. Youngsters & Caymanians think that they’re above the Law in all matters not just this. Well you’re not. Spoil Cayman, & people can go to lots of other countries. Wait til Cuba opens!

    • frank rizzo says:

      Ok, jet ski you stand, waverunner you sit. Doesn’tthe noise, speed, and safety issues still remain?

  19. Anonymous says:

    Why clamp down. Why not just enforce the Law in the normal course as you go along? We are only in this situation because for years the authorities have failed or even refused to enforce this (and many other) laws. Following the recently reported (by a poster on this site) refusal by 5 police officers to enforce drugs laws on the weekend I suppose in 3 yearsso many people will be smoking ganja in public that we will be reading of a clamp down on that too?