LI residents, experts want stricter Jet Ski regulations

Posted: Updated:

A number of recent Jet Ski incidents has some Long Island residents calling for tougher restrictions.

Two 17-year-olds who were using Jet Skis had to be rescued Sunday night when they got stuck in a marsh in Oceanside. In May, another Jet Ski rider was stranded in the Great South Bay and four others were stranded in Jamaica Bay. In mid-July, an 18-year-old was killed when her rented Jet Ski collided with a boat.

Jordan Sullivan, of Baldwin, says these incidents don't surprise her.

"I've seen people drinking on a Jet Ski," Sullivan says. "One hand on beer and the other on the Jet Ski."

Police have not said whether drinking or speed were a factor in any of the incidents but some experts in the field feel like the current restrictions to use a Jet Ski aren't enough.

To operate a Jet Ski in New York, an individual must be at least 14 years old and have a boating safety certificate or be with an adult who has one.

Capt. Bill Rivera, director of the Nautical School, says children can take an online course, print out a certificate and operate a vessel at speeds of up to 75 mph.

"That's where danger comes in," he says. "It's reckless operation."

Rivera says that children under 18 shouldn't be able to operate a Jet Ski at speeds of more than 30 mph.

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