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.

    Protection Acts of 1968 and 1986 regarding swimmers at sea and the use of water scooter- jetski:
    1. Ιt falls into the category of “small boat”
    Article 2 (Interpretation) of the Protection of Swimmers at Sea Laws of 1968 and 1986 - Law 72/1968 and Law 12/1986:
    "Boat" means any motor or sailing vessel and includes a surfboard, a sea bike, a canoe, a sea scooter and any other floating means that may put in danger the safety of swimmers at sea as well as all any object that is towed by it.
    2. Its entrance and exit is prohibited through the swimmers’ area. 
    Article 4 (1) Prohibition of transit through the area of water scooters:
     4 .- (1) The declaration of the area shall be prohibited to any of it that
     (a) passes through it 
    (b) parks there
    3. It is prohibited to be attached to buoys that mark the bathing areas.
    Article 4 (B) Prohibition to buoy intervention:
     4B. In a declaring area any person who hitches the water scooter or water sports to any buoy at sea through which the area is designated, or he interferes in any way to it, he is guilty of a criminal offense.
    Provisions for Speed Boat Tactics Laws of 1992 to 2001 and Speed Boat Tactics of 1999 Rules regarding water scooters-jet skis:
    4. Water scooter-Jet ski means a small “speedboat” and therefore it is subject to all provisions relating to speedboats. Definition of water scooter (jet ski) and its operator.
    Article 2 (Interpretation) of the Speedboat Laws 1992 to 2001 - Law 56 (I) / 1992:
    A water scooter (jet ski) means a small high-speed craft propelled by an outboard or inboard jet engine, on which one or more persons may be seated or standing. 
    'Operator' is any person who operates a high-speed boat at a specified time as well as any person who is responsible for the operation of the boat while it is anchored anywhere. In the case where there is any object that is towed by it, the operator of the boat is the same.
    5. Persons who reside permanently in Cyprus, must necessarily hold a high speed boat operator license in order to operate a water scooter – jet ski. The license is granted to persons who have reached the age of 18 and have passed successfully the theoretical and practical exams. Temporary visitors (tourists) are entitled to operate water scooters-jet skis which they rent by water sports centers if they have signed an agreement statement with the owner (or the person who is  handling the water scooter-jet ski. Persons who have reached the age of 17 may be licensed with an apprentice license and operate a water scooter-jet ski provided that they are always accompanied by a person licensed to operate it.
    Article 4 (Operator and apprentice operator license for speed boat) of the Speed Boats Laws 1992 to 2001 - Law 56 (I) / 1992:
    4. (1) No one is entitled to be a speedboat operator unless he is provided with a speedboat operator license (hereinafter referred to as "operator license") or a licensed apprentice speedboat operator (hereinafter referred to as "apprentice license") issued by the competent authority.
    (2) Aliens and foreign nationals who reside abroad are not required to hold the license mentioned in the preceding subparagraph, provided that they hold a corresponding license or certificate representing their ability to operate high-speed vessels issued by a competent authority. :
    It should be clear that temporary visitors for a period of less than thirty (30) days who do not possess the mentioned above license or certificate may operate a speedboat Class B provided that they have signed the specified agreement statement with the owner of the speedboat in which it appears that the owner has been assured of the visitor's knowledge regarding the matters specified by the Regulations issued under this Law.
    (3) Any person who is seventeen (17) years of age may be granted with an apprentice license provided that he is always accompanied by a person who holds an operating license. 
    6. Obligation to transfer the speedboat license and / or apprentice speedboat license, or the mandatory binding declaration for handling a rented sea scooter-jet ski.
    Regulation 11 regarding Speed Boats Regulations 1999 - CP 121/1999:
    11. Each speedboat operator must carry with him on board in a waterproof case the operator's license or apprentice's license, as the case may be, issued by the competent authority or in the case of a temporary visitor, he should have with him a copy of the binding declaration.
    7. Safe handling of sea scooters-jet skis
    Article 16 (Operation of Speedboats) of the Speedboats Act 1992 to 2001 - Law 56 (I) / 1992:
    16. The provisions of the Bathers Protection Acts of 1968 and 1986 and any law amending or replacing them, without being influenced, when a high-speed vessel is located in an area not designed for bathers but commonly used by bathers, the operator must enter and exit the area with the greatest attention at the lowest speed.
    Special Provision
    16A. When sea scooters-jet skis are more than 500 meters away from the coast, then regardless the provisions of the basic law or any regulations issued, the prohibition regarding their use between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm for the period of 1 May to 30 September may not apply.
    Regulation 31 (1) of the Speed Boat Regulations 1999 - CP 121/1999:
    31- (1). The movement of high-speed boats within the canals that are located between bathing areas, as determined by decree under the Bathing Protection Laws of 1968 and 1986, or any law amending or replacing them, as well as in any other sea area up to 100 meters from the nearest shore or rock, should not exceed the number of 3 knots and should not pose a risk to any ripple person.
    Regulation 32 of the Speed Boats Regulations 1999 - CP 121/1999:
    32 .— (1) It is forbidden for the sea scooter-jet ski to operate more than 700 meters away from the nearest shore
    (2) It is forbidden to use the sea scooter-jet ski in a distance of less than 100 meters from the clearly visible markings in the swimming area (buoys), 
    as defined by decree under the Protection of Bathers in the Maritime Laws of 1968 and 1986 or any law amending or replacing them. 
    The exit and entrance of sea scooters-jet skis must be through the channels of buoys as stated in Regulation 31 of these Regulations.
    3) The circulation of sea scooters-jet skis is prohibited:
    (a) For the period of May 1 to September 30 or September, except between the hours of 10:00 am - 13.00 pm and 4:00 pm - 7.00 pm
    (b) For the period of 1 October to 30 or April, except between the hours after sunrise and sunset.
    (c) Throughout the year and around the clock it is prohibited when -
    (i) the state of the sea is wavy,
    (ii) when winds of speed over 16 knots are prevalent
    (iii) when the visibility is less than one nautical mile
    8. Prohibition of handling sea scooters under the influence of drugs or severe medicines and alcohol over the limit.
    Article 8 (Operation of a Speed Boat, while the Expiration of Alcohol exceeds the prescribed limit) of the Speedboat Laws 1992 to 2001 - Law 56 (I) / 1992:
    8. Anyone who handles or attempts to operate a high-speed boat at sea, having already consumed alcohol in any form as to exceed the prescribed limit on exhaustion or blood, or of he is under the influence of drugs that reduces his ability to operate the high-speed boat, he is guilty of an offense.
    9. Safe use and management of sea scooters-jet skis
    Article 3 (provisions of the First Board) of the Speedboat Laws 1992 to 2001 - Law 56 (I) / 1992:
    The operator's attention is drawn to its provisions in the Speed Boats Act of 1992 and in particular to the following:
    1. It is prohibited to operate a high-speed boat without an operator's license
    2. Anyone who is on board must wear life jackets or navigational aids and must be seated only in the designated seats.
    3. The KillSwitch must always be connected to the operator.
    4. It is prohibited to operate a speedboat in a manner that could put someone’s life and his physical integrity or could cause nuisance
    5. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and psychotropic substances is prohibited
    6. Do not drive in the area of bathers

  • 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