Jet skis will need to be registered before they’re used in Marlborough waters in a new measure proposed in the review of the local navigation safety bylaws.
The new requirement would mean that that ‘personal water craft’, more commonly known as jet skis, must have a visible individual registration number.
The number would be provided to the jet ski owner when they registered online and would be recorded on a national database alongside the name and address of the owner. The cost of registration would be a one-off charge of approximately $60. This registration would also cover the owner to use the jet ski in other areas where a similar bylaw is already in place including Auckland Northland and Waikato.
Nationally, half the recreational vessels on our waters are power boats, a third are kayaks and just 5% are jet skis.
But Marlborough Harbourmaster Luke Grogan says the way jet skis are being used by some people both in the Marlborough Sounds and on some rivers is becoming a safety concern.
“Jet skis are becoming more popular because they are capable machines that cost less than a boat and are a lot of fun. While many people do operate them safely, we are getting an increasing number of calls every summer from people concerned about jet skis being ridden at high speeds too close to shore and, in a high-speed collision with a swimmer, a kayaker or another vessel, the consequences are likely to be fatal.”
Having a registration system would enable targeted educational campaigns to be delivered direct to jet ski owners and would make it easier for complaints to be dealt with, he said.
Submissions on this and other proposed changes to Council’s Navigation Bylaws will close on 31 October 2017. The proposed changes are available on the Council website.
Council will consider submissions before finalising any changes and it is expected that the updated bylaws will be in place mid-way through next year.