Saturday, July 29, 2006

Smokeless Fuel

A field was fiercely ablaze just short of Leeds castle in Kent this evening, with no sign of anyone in attendance we gave the police a call from the air and hopefully they'll tackle it before it runs out of control.

Back home and there's an email from one of our local readers I have every sympathy with. It concerns one of my favourite topics, Jetskis.

She writes:

"Do you know anything about the bye-laws concerning speed boats/jet skis?

I was under the impression that they could only be launched from Westbrook Bay. This afternoon there were four in St Mildred's Bay - two of which were launched from under the bridge at the end of Old Boundary Road. Although they were just outside the yellow bouys it really was only just and of course there were swimmers way out. They obviously drive at great speed and if one lost control there would be a major accident. One was towing two rubber dinghies with children in.

I was not the only person concerned - a mother was also querying this with the Lifeguard (a young lad who was not much help)."

Ironically, I was with a retired police officer today, who was one of the first on the scene of the last speedboat fatality, in St Mildred's Bay, when a teenager was hit by a boat that ran in among the bathers. He agrees with me and I suspect many others, that jetskis are now becoming a menace to bathers around our beaches and it's only a matter of time before someone is badly injured or worse by the same kind of reckless behaviour that we see on our roads being transferred to our inshore waters.

What, if anything, does our local council plan to do about this and in particular, prevent Jetskis launching from St Mildreds? Do something please before it's too late. It's no longer safe to swim outside the buoys.


Anonymous said...

I don't like the prevalent careless use of jetskis however if they are even "just" outside the buoys they are in the right place, swimmers should stay within the buoys.
The water is there for everyone to use as long as they keep to the rules and don't annoy or injure others.
TDC who seem to be the regulatory authority don't seem to have much of a senior officer presence at weekends, they are probably all at home some distance away from Thanet.
You can't expect the kids they employ as lifeguards on minimum wage to get into confrontations with jetskiers.

Anonymous said...

I made bried comment on this recently, I too had seen a jetski which in my opinion was too close to bathers and an accident will occur. When you're hit by one of these things you'll know it! Usually the best way is a kind of self-regulation where the parties involved come together and create themselves a news letter, weblog that sort of bonding thing and a consensus is drawn to behave responsibly towards others and wildlife. Anyone outside that fold is then easier to identify as being troublesome and action can be bought to bear on them. Organizers can then even negotiate discounts on equipment for Jetskiers, insurance, all that good stuff. Good idea or not? I wouldn't mind a jetski but if I get one I would definately not launch from an unapproved area or go anywhere near bathers and I'd want to know where seal colonies existed too.

DrMoores said...

No that's where your'e wrong. The buoys are a designated safety zone and if I recall correctly boats are not allowed to exceed 5knots with 500 metres of the low tide mark. The problem is that the jetski riders don't read or don't know the rules - or don't care - and assume that anything outside the buoys is fair game! - It's not!

Anonymous said...

Maybe the problem is too much restriction and no supervision. Canterbury Council have a totally different approach. Jet skiers are encouraged to form into clubs, and good facilities exist all around the coast from Reculver to Seasalter. Because of the forums that also exist everyone knows where they should be and more importantly, should't be, and the system has become self regulating. There are very few problems, and the facilities for all water craft from jetski's to sailing dinghy's, attract visitors to the area, even from Thanet. All TDC have to do is copy the Canterbury model, instead of being hostile and only offering launching facilities which border on the down right dangerous. Everyone would then be happy.

worm said...

The rules are max 8knots inshore of 400m except in designated areas (eg Water skiing) I quote directly from Thanet Coastal Codes, a copy of which you can get from Thanet Coastal project 01843577672.
If you wish to complain about a particular place where this is a problem, contact the Foreshore manager, TDC. Do it more than once.

worm said...


So because the launching places are dangerous, this gives jet skiers a right to behave like twats then. ???

You don't jet ski by any chance?

Anonymous said...

12.03 again. Yes Worm, I do occassionally. I thought that might have been too obvious to state though. I will respond further to Simons later posting.