1999-07-10 / Editorial/Opinion

Dock ‘Em

Last year The Wave editorialized on the dangers posed by jetskiers (wave runners, personal watercraft). We suggested that the Coast Guard and Police arrest jet-skiers who harass and endanger others. It was an oversight when we did not mention that they posed potential harm to themselves as well.

Last week’s accident in which two men were killed is an exclamation point to the claim that safety measures must be taken---and enforced.

The thing about these watercraft is that they don’t take an inordinate amount of skill to operate. Within a few minutes a beginner can feel quite confident. The ride, thrilling as it seems from ashore, can actually become boring. Once the initial thrill wears off, the riders of these high-powered machines look for other kicks.

The two men who were killed were attempting to zoom by a concrete and steel train trestle. They paid for the risky behavior with their lives.

Others get their thrills by "buzzing" small boats or diners at bayfront eateries. Some like to play "chicken" with big boats----no laughing matter for the owners or captains. Fishermen have contacted The Wave about the idiots who get close enough to sever fishing lines. Angry fishermen have taken to throwing rocks or fishing sinkers at the culprits.

The jetskiers take to the water like those renegades in the Road Warrior movies. They should be stopped.

A few arrests might do the trick. If someone drove a car like a lot of these guys operate their jetskis they’d be locked up in a hurry.

Make operators take safety courses--if they don’t, they shouldn’t be able to buy or rent these hazardous machines.

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