I’ve just had a pleasant conversation with the Foreshore Manager, over what I perceive as a growing jetski problem. He doesn’t share my opinion and believes that we have to accept the jetski traffic as a product of our times but concurs that both West Bay and St Mildred’s Bay are “Off Limits” to Jetski launches and has promised to put a sign in place on the slipway bridge at St Mildred’s, warning speed enthusiast mariners away.
Although he's never heard of ThanetLife, one facet of the conversation worried me though. The protected area for swimmers is of course inside the yellow buoys and the council has pulled these increasingly close to the shore to discourage people from “Swimming out to sea.”
The implication from the conversation was that if someone like me, who likes to swim a little further than two hundred yards, from point to point, across the bay, is run over by a jetski or a speedboat, then it’s my own fault for swimming outside the yellow buoys in the first place. The existence of high speed machines running up and down the bays outside the markers is apparently accepted as an unfortunate fact of life, with the only solution being one that hems swimmers into a tightly controlled rectangle, prisoners almost, in the front of each bay.
The speed limit for water craft which I think is 8 knots inshore of 400m except in designated areas appears to have gone out of the window. After all, who is going to enforce a “voluntary code”? A lifeguard with a kayak perhaps.
What we need perhaps is what one reader suggested, a line of buoys, five hundred metres out to sea which demarcate the race track from the rest of the foreshore. This would make it safer for all concerned.
Perhaps our foreshore department will at least dip in here from time to time to read what others here might think of the subject