PWC - Jetski

  • 1. Personal Water Craft, or Jet Ski, regardless of the model or type (SEA BEETLE, SEA BIKE, SURF-Jet, SURF-Ski, etc.) or whether privately owned or leased, must be registered with the Hellenic Port Authorities, must display the vessels name on both sides along with the assigned Port and Ports’ registration number and must be equipped with either distress signal flares and fire extinguishers according to the manufacturers specs else two (2) hand signaling flares and one (1) small powder fire extinguisher.

    2. Personal Water Craft such as those mentioned above are prohibited to use a) during adverse weather conditions. On each occasion, based on the General Port Regulation No 20 (B 444 / 26-4-1999), the use of novel recreational activities, which have been or will be approved in accordance with the applicable provisions, is prohibited when the Beaufort wind measures more than five (5) and when visibility is limited. Additionally, the landlords of water recreational activities should hold a portable digital anemometer where they take into consideration its indications. b) in rocky coastal areas c) prior to sunrise and after sunset hours d) when Quick Stop/emergency safety switches designed to automatically shut down the engine in case of a fall, are not available e) if the number of riders is greater than the approved manufacturers requirements (on the personal watercraft there can be up to 3 persons on board depending on its type) f) when there are engine damages, mechanical failures, etc. g) when equipped with external propellers h) during the months of June, July, August, September and between the hours 14:00-17:00. Note this restriction pertains to residential areas whose boundaries are defined by the Port authorities and after a unanimous vote by the Committee depicted under Article #35 i) when riders are not equipped with personal floatation devices (e.g lifejackets).

    3. Operating Personal Water Craft such as sea bikes, regardless of the type or the engines capability to accelerate, is prohibited by individuals/riders without a valid motorboat/speedboat or PWC license.

    4. Towing individuals using any type of Personal Water Craft, e.g. Jet Ski, for other water sports activities such as Water Ski, Water Sleds, Rings, etc., is strictly forbidden.

    5. Operating Personal Water Craft is prohibited when
    a. The distance is less than two hundred (200) meters measured from the outer edges of floating buoys (ref. Article 26), used to mark and set the boundaries for bathing beaches frequented by swimmers, etc.
    b. The distance is less than three hundred (300) meters from the customary locations accessed and frequented by swimmers when at coastlines where floating buoys are not evident.
    c. Travelling in speeds greater that five (5) knots and the distances are less than five hundred (500) meters from any and all coastlines regardless of the presence of swimmers.

    6. Personal Water Craft lessors are equipped with Control Panels which allow for the remote management and shut down the Jet Ski from a distance of at least one thousand (1000) meters when renters (riders) pose unnecessary risks or threats to other swimmers, vessels, etc. in the area.

    7. Licenses for more than three (3) Personal Water Craft to a lessor are prohibited. All lessors who hold licenses for more than 3 PWC’s during the time of this Regulations’ publication may not proceed with increasing the number of licenses nor may they replace any licenses recalled until the number of vessels is reduced to a maximum of three (3).

    8. Lessors of Personal Water Craft are required, amongst other prerequisites, to hold a valid powerboat/speedboat marine license or a valid Personal Water Craft (Jet Ski) license.

    9. Leased PWC’s, e.g. Jet Skis, are authorized for use only in sea areas where the lessor and lessee have between them clear and unobstructed visibility at all times. The boundaries of such sea areas are clearly identified and documented on the respective license.

    10. The starting point /return for rental Personal Water Craft is allowed to and from designated sea areas via a) the floating platform as noted in Article #28 which has a non-slipping surface b) a specific, predefined mooring or buoy as noted in Article #28 which is in orange colour and it is placed at a distance of two hundred (200) meters from the shoreline and it is withdrawn before sunset c) the vessel noted in Article #29 d) any sea area or waterway with a distance greater than the limits (distances) set in paragraph ¶5. e). the channel referred to in Article 27 with the minimum speed level according to its type of construction and taking into account the safety of the bellows. The channels of seven (7) to twenty (20) meters wide lengths according to the particularities and peculiarities of the area sheds are marked by placing clearly visible floating yellow, conical shaped buoys on the right and cylindrical shaped buyoys to the left for the entrance from the open sea and these are located three (3) meters away from each other.  Since the distance between the seats or the hiring points of two (2) contiguous lessors is less than three hundred (300) meters in accordance with Article 22, it is possible to delimit a single channel in the middle as far as possible of the distance and in an exact position, as decided by the Committee in the Article 35, that lessors must use.

    In cases where the starting/return points a), b) and c) above are located in distances less than those required by paragraph 5 of this Article based on the decision made by the Committee, the transferring of individuals is allowed only at speeds less than five (5) knots, taking into consideration so as to avoid triggering the rules and requirements listed in paragraph ¶5.

    11. The transferring of individuals between the shore line and the designated launch board or platform who are interested in riding a PWC, e.g. Jet Ski in areas as listed in the previous paragraph, is permitted via the use of non-motorized and motorized craft, excluding sea bikes, Jet Skis and Hover Crafts, only when traveling in designated waterways and at a maximum speed of five (5) knots.

    12. It is forbidden to rent a motorized small craft, a personal watercraft, a high speed craft or speedboat, that serves as a rescue device for any other purpose than the provision of rescue services.

  • Provisions of the Laws on the Protection of Swimmers at Sea of 1968 and 1986 concerning jet skis:

    1. They fall under the category of craft.
    Article 2 (Interpretation) of the Laws on the Protection of Swimmers at Sea of 1968 and 1986 – Law 72/1968 and Law 12/1986:
    "craft" means any motorized or sailing vessel and includes a windsurf board, sea bicycle, canoe, jet ski, and any other floating means capable of endangering the safety of swimmers at sea as well as any object towed by them.

    2. Entry and use within a swimmers' area are prohibited.
    Article 4(1) Prohibition of passage through the craft area:
    4.-(1) Upon the declaration of the area, it is prohibited for any craft to-
    (a) pass through it
    (b) anchor or station within it.

    3. Mooring them on the buoys marking the swimmers' areas is prohibited. Article 4(B) Prohibition of interference with buoys:
    4B. Upon the declaration of an area, any person who moors any craft or other object to any buoy within the sea that defines the area, or interferes in any way with such a buoy, commits a criminal offense.

    Provisions of the Speed Boats Laws from 1992 to 2020 and the Speed Boats Regulations of 1999 concerning jet skis:

    4. A jet ski means a small speed boat and therefore is subject to all provisions concerning speed boats. Definition of a jet ski and definition of a jet ski operator.
    Article 2 (Interpretation) of the Speed Boats Laws from 1992 to 2001 – Law 56(I)/1992:
    "jet ski" means a small speed boat which is propelled by an outboard engine or an inboard water jet engine and on which one or more persons can ride, seated or standing"
    "operator" includes any person, who operates a speed boat at a specific time as well as any person who bears the responsibility for the boat for operation purposes while it is anchored anywhere, while in the case of a towed object, it means the operator of the boat from which the object is towed.

    5. Persons permanently residing in Cyprus must possess a speed boat operator's license to operate a jet ski. The operator's license is granted to individuals who have reached the age of 18 and have successfully passed theoretical and practical exams. Individuals who have reached the age of 17 may be equipped with a learner operator's license and operate a jet ski provided they are always accompanied by a person holding an operator's license. Individuals who have reached the age of 18 (eighteenth) are entitled to operate jet skis rented from watersports centers provided they have co-signed a binding statement with the owner (or the responsible person at the watersports center) certifying that the person renting and intending to operate the jet ski has been fully informed about the correct and safe operation mode and the navigation and collision avoidance rules.
    Article 4 (Operator and learner operator's license for speed boats) of the Speed Boats Laws from 1992 to 2020 – Law 56(I)/1992:
    4.-(1) No one is entitled to be an operator of a speed boat unless equipped with an operator's license for speed boats (hereinafter referred to as "operator's license") or a learner operator's license for speed boats (hereinafter referred to as "learner's license") issued by the competent authority.
    (2) Foreign nationals and citizens who are permanent residents abroad are not required to have the license mentioned in the previous paragraph, provided they hold a corresponding license or certificate that certifies their ability to operate speed boats and has been issued by a competent foreign authority.
    (3) Individuals who have completed seventeen (17) years can be equipped with a learner's license provided they are always accompanied by a person equipped with an operator's license.
    (4) Regardless of the provisions of paragraphs (1) and (2), Category B speed boats as defined in the provisions of paragraph (1) of Regulation 3 of the Speed Boats Regulations can be rented for private use and operated by individuals who do not hold the license or certificate referred to in said paragraphs, provided the following terms and conditions are met:
    (a) The individuals mentioned in this paragraph have completed the eighteenth (18th) year of age;
    (b) the aforementioned boats are not removed beyond six (6) nautical miles from the rental point or from the maritime area designated by a circular of the competent authority;
    (c) in the case of a jet ski, it does not move away from the visual field of its owner or the employee who undertook to supervise the rented jet skis, who has at his disposal a wireless device for controlling the jet skis with which he can give instructions with sound signals or immobilize the jet ski when he perceives that the operator is making dangerous maneuvers or/and violates the navigation rules provided by this Law and the Regulations issued under it;
    (d) the aforementioned individuals have co-signed the specified binding declaration with the owner of the boat, showing that the owner has assured their knowledge regarding the matters defined in the relevant Regulations issued under this Law.

    6. Obligation to carry the speed boat operator's license and/or the learner operator's license, or the binding statement for operating a rented jet ski. Regulation 11 of the Speed Boats Regulations of 1999 – KDP 121/1999:
    Every speed boat operator must have on the boat, inside a waterproof case, an operator's license or learner operator's license, as the case may be, issued by the competent authority or, in the case of a temporary visitor, a copy of the binding statement.

    7. Provisions for the safe operation of jet skis.
    Article 16 (Operation of speed boats) of the Speed Boats Laws from 1992 to 2001 – Law 56(I)/1992:
    16. Without affecting the provisions of the Laws on the Protection of Swimmers at Sea of 1968 and 1986 and any law amending or replacing them, in the case where a speed boat is in an area not designated for swimmers but commonly used by swimmers, the operator must enter and exit the area with the utmost care and at the lowest possible speed. Special provision
    16A. Regardless of the provisions of the main law or the regulations issued based on it, the prohibition of jet ski traffic between the hours of 1.00 p.m. and 4.00 p.m. that applies from May 1st to September 30th does not apply when they are operated at a distance greater than 500 meters from the nearest coast. Regulation 31(1) of the Speed Boats Regulations of 1999 – KDP 121/1999:
    31-(1). The operation of speed boats within the channels located between swimming areas, as defined by decree by virtue of the Laws on the Protection of Swimmers at Sea of 1968 and 1986 or any law amending or replacing them, as well as in any other maritime area up to 100 meters from the nearest coast, rock, or islet, is conducted at a speed that does not exceed 3 knots and in any case does not create dangerous waves for any person.
    Regulation 32 of the Speed Boats Regulations of 1999 – KDP 121/1999:
    32.—(1) It is prohibited to move jet skis beyond 700 meters from the nearest coast.
    (2) It is prohibited to use jet skis within a distance less than 100 meters from the clearly distinguishable signs (buoys) in a swimming area, as defined by decree by virtue of the Laws on the Protection of Swimmers at Sea of 1968 and 1986 or any law amending or replacing them: It is understood that the passage and return of jet skis from and to the coast is done through channels, as provided in Regulation 31 of these Regulations.
    (3) It is prohibited to operate jet skis:
    (a) For the period from May 1st to September 30th, except between the hours of 10.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m. and 4.00 p.m. - 7.00 p.m.
    (b) For the period from October 1st to April 30th, except between the hours after sunrise until sunset.
    (c) Throughout the year and 24 hours a day —
    (i) when the sea condition is wavy,
    (ii) when winds of a speed greater than 16 knots prevail
    (iii) when visibility is less than one nautical mile.

    8. Prohibition of operating a jet ski under the influence of drugs or medications and under the influence of alcohol exceeding the specified limit.
    Article 8 (Operation of a speed boat while the amount of alcohol in the breath exceeds the specified limit) of the Speed Boats Laws from 1992 to 2001 – Law 56(I)/1992:
    8. Anyone who operates or attempts to operate a speed boat at sea, having already consumed such an amount of alcohol in any form, that it exceeds the specified limit in the breath or in the blood, or while under the influence of drugs or medications that reduce the ability to operate a speed boat, commits an offense.

    9. Provisions for the safe use and governance of jet skis.
    Article 3 (provisions of the First Table) of the Speed Boats Laws from 1992 to 2001 – Law 56(I)/1992:
    ATTENTION The operator's attention is drawn to the provisions of the Speed Boats Law of 1992, particularly the following:
    1. Operating a speed boat without an operator's license is prohibited.
    2. Passengers must wear a life jacket or flotation device and sit only in the designated seats.
    3. The engine cut-off lanyard (Kill Switch) must always be connected to the operator.
    4. Operating a speed boat in a manner that may endanger the life or bodily integrity or property of any person or in a manner that may cause nuisance is prohibited.
    5. Driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages or narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances is prohibited.
    6. Driving within swimming areas is prohibited.

  • Personal watercraft (PWC), also known by brand names jet skis, skidoos, or wave runners, have the bad boy reputation of the waterways, but riders love the thrills they can provide. As their popularity rises, so do calls for safer zoning rules, mandatory operator licenses, stricter law enforcement, as well as regulation for noise and emissions reduction.
    PWC are fast and powerful machines that require very different steering skills than other types of boats. Primarily due to risky behavior and inexperience, PWC operators are injured 8.5 times more often than those operating other motorised watercraft.
    Υouth are especially high risk users. Collisions with docks, boats, and other PWC account for the majority of the injuries. Due to the high number of collisions, PWC are the only water craft for which blunt trauma is the leading cause of death rather than drowning. The relative accessibility of PWCs encourages inexperienced users to just “give it a whirl” casually, so it is left to the rental providers to verify that clients have the apporpriate drivig license according to the law.

    Why PWC can be risky for youth?
    Because PWCs have no brakes, can not be steered when the throttle is off, and must be sped up in order to turn, a great deal of highspeed decision making and complex co ordination is required.
    PWC design offers no protection to riders, and most accidents to youth are known to be caused by reckless or inappropriate operation. Youth and inexperience contribute significantly to more severe accidents and injuries

    Recommendations for PWC rental and operation
    ● Previous boater education and presentation of the appropriate boating license is mandatory.
    ● Record the names, home address and local contact information for each passenger.
    ● First time customers should be given training by your staff on the proper operational techniques of a PWC, and a short test run should be made with your direct supervision.
    ● Customers who claim to be experienced should be briefed on safety guidelines and local rules, and should perform a short test run to prove their ability before embarking without further supervision.
    ● Use of a personal flotation device (PFD) and helmets should be required at all times by all riders.
    ● No wake jumping should be allowed due to the increased risk of collisions and water impact injuries.
    ● No person who has consumed alcohol should be permitted on a PWC as operator or passenger.
    ● All riders should wear protective gear such as a half wetsuit. Do not allow passengers to ride with hanging items such as baggy clothes, long PFD straps, and loose long hair.
    ● Never apply the throttle when someone is behind the PWC as water exiting the nozzle can cause serious injury.
    ● PWC should only be operated in daylight hours.
    ● A waiver should be signed and the customer and passengers’ personal information provided in case of an accident.

    Be aware that most PWC accidents occur to
    PWC renters with less
    than 20 hours experience,
    about 24% of which occur
    within their first hour of use.

    What safety factors to look for in choosing PWCs for your operation?
    The personal watercrafts of today are heavier and therefore more stable than older models. This prevents them from becoming air-borne as easily (a high risk factor).
    All models are also required by th law to have a kill-switch tied to a lanyard (a cord to the kill-switch which is worn on the wrist or PFD), which will allow an operator thrown from a PWC to turn off the engine.
    All models meant for rental operations must have a remote control kill-switch so that the staff can control the crafts from a distance should an emergency occur, or should an operator be behaving recklessly.
    This is helpful but will not necessarily prevent an accident. Cutting the engine will result in loss of steering ability, and the PWC will continue moving until the momentum slows or an impact stops it.

    Staff Preparedness
    ● Always have at least 2 staff members present – one to speak with clients and handle training, and the other to monitor PWC activity on the water.
    ● Be sure that your staff members are trained in CPR and first aid.
    ● Equipment to have on hand include binoculars for monitoring your clients, a telephone line, and 2 PWC set aside with rescue boards for transporting injured victims. Due to the frequency of tandem riding and to the frequency of collisions, it is likely that a PWC accident will result in more than one victim.
    ● All staff should carry or have immediate access to the remote control engine kill-switch, as should any nearby lifeguards or rescue patrol.
    ● One of your staff members should always be scanning the water.
    ● All staff members should be able to clearly communicate the risks and safety rules to clients. A language barrier could pose a problem should an accident occur, both in terms of immediate medical care and liability for having failed to properly communicate the rules.

    *Source : European Child Safety Alliance, Eurosafe; 2008.- With the support of the European Commission