Personal Water Craft Safety

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We were wondering how safe these things really are:

!http://www.dnr.state.md.us/boating/safety/images/waverunner.jpg! VDGIF > Boating > PWC

PWC stands for personal watercraft with an emphasis on the personal. Trade name craft, such as Ski-Doo® (Bombardier Recreational Products), Waverunner® (Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A.), and JET SKI® (Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A.) are types of PWC.

although PWCs comprise just over 10% of all registered boats, they were involved in 22.6% of all boating accidents. Although PWC are involved in a disproportionate number of boating accidents (property damage and personal injury), they have a great safety record when it comes to boating fatalities. The main reason for low fatality rates on PWC is because all PWC operators, passengers, and persons being towed by a PWC, are required to wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket. Other boat operators and passengers are only required to have wearable life jackets on board, but are not required to wear them.

Most accidents are caused by the operator’s inexperience, inattention or failure to look out for hazards, The operator’s tense eye muscles and eye fatigue will contribute to the development of temporary tunnel vision, known as “boater’s hypnosis”. This is when the operator stares straight ahead in a trance, without looking to the periphery for approaching boats or obstacles. Excessive speed caused or contributed to several accidents last year. Never jump wakes, and never cut in front of another boat.

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