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Saturday 21 April 2018

Jet-skiers 'causing havoc' for beach-goers and marine rescuers

The jetskier in Dun Laoghaire
The jetskier in Dun Laoghaire

Ian Begley

Reckless jet-skiers are causing havoc across the capital's harbours, according to a Dublin-based coast guard officer.

Kyron O'Gorman, of Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard, said many jet-skiers are a real danger to themselves and others.

"Jet-skiers are very unpopular with anyone involved in marine recreation," he told the Herald.

"If they have no set path they just go in every direction. If you are a swimmer, snorkeller or diver, you would be terrified not knowing where these jet skis are coming from.

"Those fishing from the pier also have no chance of catching anything with the water being churned up by them."

Mr O'Gorman spoke following an incident over the weekend, which saw two men rescued after their jet ski capsized.

The pair were left "clutching on for their lives" in the harbour at the old Stena Line berth before the Irish Coast Guard came to their rescue.

They were not wearing life jackets or wetsuits.

"I don't even know if they could swim, but they were clutching on for their lives," said Mr O'Gorman.

"Their jet ski was taking on water and was well submerged.

Luckily, the harbour police responded very quickly and called the coast guard, who rescued them.

"They only bought the jet ski that morning."

Just two days before this incident, swimmers at Dublin's Forty Foot raised the alarm about jet skis and powerboats racing near the harbour.

"The Forty Foot is used by so many adults and kids during the summer. If people are racing past on motor boats and jet skis it can be really terrifying," said Mr O'Gorman.

The coast guard is now reminding people of the regulations surrounding jet skis:

• A life jacket is a requirement.

• Jet skis can only be operated by people aged 16 years or older.

• You must hold a permit issued by Dun Laoghaire- Rathdown County Council (DLRCC) for that local area.

• Jet skis may only operate before 10am and after 7.30pm within the DLRCC area and must stay 300m from the foreshore, except when launching (this is to protect swimmers).

• Jet ski courses are available to all users and are highly recommended.

The damage jet skis can do was illustrated earlier this month, when a 24-year-old man was arrested in Copenhagen after his machine left two American exchange students dead.

Herald

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