Most of us probably like to think we’re safe personal watercraft operators. The Personal Watercraft Industry Association, however, is now asking riders to make that claim a little more official as the Association kicks off their 2nd Annual Safe Rider Program, focused on “promoting the responsible use of personal watercrafts by encouraging safety and education.”
Before you yawn and click on over to Instagram, consider for a moment that we all could use a little refresher course in boating safety. Accidents happen, and they happen to responsible users as well as that annoying jerk who cut you off on the way to the launch ramp. This PWIA campaign is just a reminder to do things right. That means scanning the water for other boats and hazards; avoiding aggressive maneuvers; following local boating laws, including rules to prevent the transfer of invasive species; examining your equipment; reacting to the conditions; insisting on a safe distance from other boats, swimmers, and fixed objects; driving SOBER; evaluating the weather and waterways; and respecting the environment by avoiding fuel spills and operating close to marine life.
In short, all the simple things you should be doing every ride, but maybe just need a little nudge to remind you about.
The campaign, which kicks off Memorial Day weekend, encourages riders to go online and sign a pledge committing to the safe and responsible operation of their craft.Â And when you do, you’ll get a cool little sticker to display on your PWC. Who knows, maybe it will even create a little peer pressure for others to follow suit.
â€śOur mission is to advocate for a safe and enjoyable experience on any personal watercraft,â€ť explains David Dickerson, executive director of PWIA. â€śBringing the Safe Rider campaign to PWC users for a second year in a row will help us to continue to reach a larger audience with the message that PWC fun and safety go hand in hand.â€ť
Check out the pledge atÂ www.pwia.org, and while you’re at it take a moment to find out a few more details about the â€śSafe Riderâ€ť campaign. That includes information on instructional courses and downloadable safety materials, including a brief handbook titled Riding Rules for Personal Watercraft and PWC Orientation Checklist.
â€śResponsible riding isnâ€™t just about personal safety,” continues Dickerson. “Our pledge encompasses PWC etiquette for riders of every skill level in multiple locations or scenarios. It includes being considerate of those around you. Being mindful of other vessels in your vicinity and how your rate of speed or wake affects them. And donâ€™t forget about marine life, be sure to respect ecologically sensitive areas. Sign the pledge today, commit to its recommendations and start having fun on the water!â€ť