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Advice for watersports operators

Watersports operators are being reminded that they need to be certified and obtain a speedboat driver’s licence issued by the Ministry of International Business and International Transport, to operate speedboats and jet skis.

This reminder is coming from Shipping Superintendent in the Ministry of International Business and International Transport, Walter Best, who stressed that people should not operate such craft without the required documentation.

He added that any person learning to drive a speedboat must also possess a learner’s permit issued by the ministry.

Meanwhile, those riding as passengers on such equipment must be properly briefed by the operator, wear a life jacket, know the beaches where the watersports is to be carried out, ensure the operator knows their name and where they are staying and medical history in the event of an accident.

He stressed that life jackets must be provided for use on all speedboats and worn by drivers and passengers at all times. Failure to do so could result in a fine of $5,000, imprisonment for 12 months, or both.

Best said those renting such equipment should also be given a safety briefing, and requested to show identification.

“No person shall operate a speedboat in any harbour if under the age of 16 years,” he said.

Best is also warning that it is an offence to operate a speedboat or personal water craft such as a “sea doo” or jet ski within a buoyed swimming area, or while under the influence of alcohol.

In addition, the superintendent reminded watersports operators that all vessels engaged in such activity should always carry a first aid kit and lifesaving equipment.

Persons seeking to pay their speedboat licence or register their vessels may do so at the ministry’s new headquarters in the Baobab Towers, Warrens, St. Michael.

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