Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 27 October 2020

Ras Al Khaimah tightens rules on jet ski use

Anyone using a jet ski recklessly or in a prohibited area faces a fine of Dh500

The laws are designed to bring more order to the sector. Paulo Vecina / The National 
The laws are designed to bring more order to the sector. Paulo Vecina / The National 

Ras Al Khaimah is tightening restrictions on the use of jet skis in the emirate.

Anyone using one recklessly or in a prohibited area faces a fine of Dh500.

All jet skis must be licensed and users must not come within 180 metres of the shore.

The move is part of a drive to regulate their use in the emirate and all fines will be doubled if the breach is repeated within a year.

It represents the first time such laws have been introduced in the emirate.

Only last year, inspectors were sent to the creeks of Ras Al Khaimah to ensure nobody was flouting the summer ban introduced in 2016 to protect marine life.

“Using jet skis in creeks causes a disturbance to the marine environment as it causes waves and currents,” Dr Saif Al Ghais, executive director of Ras Al Khaimah's Environment Protection and Development Authority, told The National.

Inconsiderate jet ski users have afflicted many residential communities across the UAE over the years either through noise or coming too close to the shore. There have also been several tragic accidents involving users, prompting calls for more regulation.

In August last year, a man was rescued after he crashed his jet ski into the breakwater at a beach in Dubai. The man, 20, was riding his jet ski at Al Mamzar Beach Park when he rammed into the breakwater.

In September 2018, a man, 36, died after falling off his jet ski near Fujairah city's Corniche. He was on his own when the accident happened.

But authorities have taken major action to address the problem in recent years and this latest move is a part of that.

Adventure Sports, a club that offers jet ski rental in Ras Al Khaimah, welcomed the new rules.

"The new law is definitely a piece of good news for us given that we are licensed to operate and this will help us ensure the safety of our guests," it said.

The regulations also stipulate that users must be at least 14 and wear a life jacket, while jet skis cannot be used within 180 metres of the shore or 100 metres ships.

Fines and offences related to jet ski users:

Dh500

  • Driving jet skis outside the specified maritime areas.
  • Driving jet skis recklessly. Jet ski will also be impounded for two weeks.
  • Driving in prohibited areas. Jet ski will also be impounded for one weeks.

Dh300

  • Driving jet ski without a licence. Jet ski will also be impounded for two weeks.
  • Driving or attempting to drive jet ski under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. Jet ski will also be impounded for one week.
  • Not complying with the specified time.

Dh200

  • Exceeding jet ski capacity.

Dh150

  • Using a jet ski for purposes other than those for which it is intended.

Dh100

  • Driving a jet ski with a registered licence expired for more than a month.
  • Not wearing a life jacket.
  • Driver of the jet ski is under legal age or not escorted by a companion.
  • Non-compliance with the instructions.
  • Any other breach of the law.

Updated: September 20, 2020 04:04 PM

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