Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Swimmer killed by Jetski on Port Phillip Bay

I have occasionally encountered some Jetski riders while out kitesurfing in Port Phillip Bay.  None have come very close to me so far.  While kiting at Frankston recently one Jetski rider was in the water for a while.  I kited past and asked him if he was OK - he said he was.  The other Jetskis nearby kept well away from me.

Swimmers enjoy a last burst of summer sun at Port Melbourne beach over the weekend. Picture: Chris ScottHerald Sun
Jet-ski riders come close to the no-go zone at Port Melbourne after an accident at the same beach on Friday night. Photo: Rebecca Hallas
However, a Jetski hit a swimmer recently, who later died in hospital.  The exact circumstances have not yet been verified, but is possible the collision happened in the protected area that stretches 1.2 kilometres from Lagoon Pier to Kerford Road Pier.

This tragedy and will certainly have repercussions for policing with respect to regulations for water craft 200m from shore and in proximity of swimmers.   There are even calls for Jetskis to be banned on Port Phillip Bay, as they have been on Sydney Harbour.

In addition, a helmet cam video taken by a windsurfer recently records a near miss with a Jetski a long way out in the Bay.  One would think the Jetski rider could see a windsurfer its sail, which begs the question as to whether he came so close deliberately.

Here is the video footage.  You can see the Jetski very nearly hit the windsurfer.

I encourage all Jetski riders (and other water users, including kitesurfers) to follow the regulations relating to personal water craft.  This means respecting:

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