another avoidable death on the water


Jetskiers. Species evolved.

Tragic Story. When you are riding anywhere near where people are, or could be, swimming, surfing, fishing: SLOW THE HELL DOWN. All of these incidents are avoidable with even loose observation of the 'distance off' regs.


Fun First!
Yes agree 100% Johno.

On behalf of the Jet Ski community we wish to express our deepest sympathy to the family and friends who have suffered a tremendous loss.

Whilst the majority of riders enjoy the many aspects of Jet skiing with their families every weekend around our beautiful waterways, there remains a small percentage of preventable accidents each year.

The Australian Jet Ski Association consists of a team of volunteers and members who receive no support or funding, from within the industry through the manufacturers distributors, dealers, or from any of the government departments associated with water safety.

Make no mistake, this is a valuable industry. The sales profits are around $12M on conservative estimates.
The revenue from the registration of 85,000 Skis must be $4000,000.00 (average $50 each)
If you add in the trailer registration say another $4000,000.00 (average $50 each)
Then there's licencing of which there are over 150,000 Jet Ski licences (say $50 per year on average) $7,500,000.00

It looks like from the $25M per annum revenue the only work done on advanced safety training and safety awareness is done by volunteers in clubs!

Nevertheless we will continue our lobbying to raise awareness within these sources of the need to reinvest into the industry to provide advanced rider training, as has proven to be so successful within the motor bike industry.

Our lobbying activities will continue to call for a streamlined testing process in every state and territory in Australia with a mandatory requirement for a practical test.

Currently there are some states where a simple verbal discussion with a licensed tester provides a new rider with the credentials to obtain a licence that gives them the right to ride nationally.

A few years ago a new rider who had just obtained their licence was involved in a fatality at Port Melbourne. He was riding too fast, too close to the beach and was found guilty and imprisoned. Had he been practically tested he may have had the sense to observe correct distance off and the poor deceased Man would be enjoying another Christmas with his family this year.

Personally I feel very sorry for this young man in prison too. His life is forever damaged by this and the system has let him down too. It failed to educate him enough and gave him a licence telling him he was good to go riding.

We believe that one is a good enough statistic to make mandatory practical testing law all over the country.

Unfortunately we have experienced some negative feedback from the commercial players in the industry and their supporters, that the statistics do not support mandatory practical testing and training.

And most likely this weeks tragedy would support the thought that practical testing didn't work in this case so advanced, ongoing education is PARAMOUNT.

We have concluded from this commercial push back, that any barrier to licencing is seen as a barrier to the purchase of a Ski.

Well the commercial interest is of no value to those of us who wish to ride recreationally after a tough week at work with pressure in every corner of our lives.

With an estimated $12M profit from the sale of Jet Skis into the Australian market (based on a $2k profit in around 6000 new sales) we think it's time the commercial members of the industry start to stand up and take some responsibility for the protection and improvement of the industry.

Many of the motor bike manufacturers have done that and history shows this was what that industry needed to become more accepted and respected.

It's time for these commercial players to stand up and re invest in the industry instead of playing a game of take the money and run.

Ongoing awareness and education is essential. Leading by example is also fundamentally going to have an impact.

Why are so many new Ski owners patted on the back and wished "good luck"? It's time to see "newbies" given practical demonstrations of launching, retrieving and safe riding in each and every case. It's not good enough to rely on the people who love the industry to do this!

C'mon, surely a $12Mpa market must be worth reinvesting in for the future?


New Member
Very well said Mandy.
You wont often hear people comment on this subject publically but there is an ever increasing number of PWC riders and non riders absolutely ridicule our PWC licencing laws in Australia.
With the manufacturers emphasis on horsepower and speed there is no emphasis whatsoever on rider capability and suitability for these high powered machines.
Don't get me wrong I to love the power and speed but it needs to be respected and only unleashed in capable hands and respectful riders.
The Victorian Government is aware of the shortfall in the current licencing tests and in the not to distance future we will see practical licence testing for both boat and Pwc users in Victoria.



With great power comes a great electricity bill
Yep agree 100% with you Mandy - I dont think the"commercial players (Brands with held)"care enough to reinvest for the following reasons
1 Reinvesting would come out of the big wigs "commercial players" sales Bonus.
2 Reinvesting in there eyes would not have a return in sales
3 Harder licensing would deter newer inexperienced people from getting a license and blindly buying a brand new jetski

Its seems this accident at this stage was a failure to see the swimmer and possibly a huge mistake of not even
considering a swimmer could be in the water but very few details available at the moment.
I to feel for the Bloke who got Jailed for the Port Melbourne accident and he is now paying for his big mistake, Licensing process in Melbourne is very questionable on how it's conducted (I would love to know how many people failed these tests?) at the same time I dont believe the ease of getting a license is totally to blame in this accident because if you have awareness and respect for other water users accidents can mostly be avoided


Jetskiers. Species evolved.
Pacman the circumstances were that the lady that was killed called the jetskier over to her. So yeah he was aware. In any case it is the responsibility of the rider to know....this sort of thing happens too often and impacts on all of us. Often the real cause of the accident is egos out of control. The solution to it is education, attitude and understanding the consequences.

Its sad that people cant just go a couple hundred metres away to do their thing and when they get close to the ramp other boats or where swimmers might be, just get off the plane.


With great power comes a great electricity bill
It's puzzling how this happened given the rider was aware of the swimmer then, I guess the full story will come out in the hearing and yes of course its riders responsibility thats just common sense and why I mentioned failure to consider a swimmer in the first place. Agree with your solution but the million dollar question is how do we educate people to have a better attitude with respect to the laws as well as for others. There could be a nobel peace prize for the person that can rightly answer that question. Mandy and Tony mentioned practical testing (theory into practice) is on the cards but I reckon it needs to be done by creditable people involved in jetskis or even better a jetski club-someone with intent to bettering the sports image not just some bloke that completed a bulldust approved coarse which enables him to hand out licenses like candles at a Denis Walters carols by candlelight concert. The bloke that did my license seemed to have some very good story's/examples and opinions on boat safety that struck home with me but nothing to say about any jetskis misconduct at all


Jetskiers. Species evolved.
There was a vague reference to a third party being involved, and the jetskier not being aware of what others were doing. that has since been deleted, so yes the coroner's report will reveal more.
Part of the solution could be to support and join the Australian Jetski Association and support the body that is supporting our sport.
Agree with all of your comments in relation to licencing. We do what we can. I'd guess if a tester got a reputation as being tough, they would be out of business pretty quickly as word got around, and that could be part of the problem.
When I got my boat licence about 10 years ago, it was obvious at the end of the day the issuer wasn't gonna let anyone fail. a couple of the participants were obviously dumb as dog shit, and didn't know anything, the tester gave them pretty blatant clues for the answers, and gave them as many attempts as they need guess the right answer on an A,B,C,D multiple choice.
Forums like this are a great way try to get the message out. if we don't protect our sport, we'll end up be regulated with speed restrictions, riding styles restricted, no go zones for jetskiers, insurers refuse to take on risk, and I don't wanna live/ride in that world.


With great power comes a great electricity bill
Yep love this forum definitely the most pro-active forum here in oz right now, other forums seemed to have dropped right off


Fun First!
Wow, there's some really well thought out suggestions here. Thanks everyone for the effort.

Last night I woke up a few times and was just horrified at the thought of what that poor woman went through :( It scares the daylights out of me.

I never want to hear about anything like this again, it's just too sad for everyone involved.

The suggestions here are coming from some really experienced people too which is great.

I was thinking that experience is why we have these issues as the statistics tell us that its usually the new riders who get themselves into trouble.

We also know that most people are in and out within 2 years. If you make it past that your a "long termer". You've also got much more experience than the average rider.

So we know that the practical licencors are not all very good at what they do but there are some who go a little further to try to get it right.

The problem I see, is that time is money. Businesses want to pay as little for a licencer as possible and pack as many into a class as possible.

This isn't all of them but it does go on.

So what about licencing more like Motor Bikes? Say the firs two years you cant ride a supercharged Ski or a modified Ski. Just like with Bikes.
Perhaps you could ride a supercharged Ski but only on a modified (governed) tune?

This may be the best way to curb the first two years of statistics? It's working for Motor Bikes along with advanced training courses run by the industry.

In a few weeks time the Australian Jet Ski Association will be running a major industry survey. This will be the time to have your say about the industry you love. It will drive the national initiative and will ultimately shape the national standard when it's introduced.

Practical testing will not be going away so I guess those of you in the states without it better get your licences soon ;)

If you never take any notice of anything I've learned over the years that's OK but please just read and practice the next sentence always.....

Just never, ever exceed trolling speed whenever you're near a shore, swimmers, surfers or any another boat. Statistically, you'll always be OK if you do that.


Mandy said:
So what about licencing more like Motor Bikes? Say the firs two years you cant ride a supercharged Ski or a modified Ski. Just like with Bikes.
Perhaps you could ride a supercharged Ski but only on a modified (governed) tune?

This may be the best way to curb the first two years of statistics? It's working for Motor Bikes along with advanced training courses run by the industry.
The motor bike safety experts have stated Engine capacity restrictions alone are ineffective at limiting
inexperienced riders’ access to more powerful motorcycles and thus compromise their safety.

All states now use a power to weight and maximum engine capacity system.
Im all for that but I can see it being very hard to implement. I have thought maybe we need a learner driver system where you need a certain number of hours before your licensed but again hard to implement and doesn't address the existing skis and existing riders.

Discounts on registration or insurance for completing advanced rider training could possibly get new and older riders all getting there skills up to date so that would get my vote.

The perception on a bike is if you fall off you the rider are going to be injured. On a PWC however its expected you or your passengers are going to fall off while having fun and you wont be injured.
Maybe this means PWC riders think less about both their own safety and that causes a complete lack of thought for public safety.

Having only had my license just under a year I certainly know the practical side of getting a license is lacking. My practical spent more time on me knowing who was behind or over taking me then what was in front and how to avoid trouble.
I should have got some braking distance and emergency turning training.

So let me know when advanced rider training is happening.

Sent from my SM-N910G using Tapatalk


With great power comes a great electricity bill
Motorcycle license testing at one stage (25 years ago) was very strict, It was a 3 part test - Theory test,closed course test and on road test there was about 1/4 fail rate, If you failed the first time around you would normally get it the second time. found these tests prepared me extreme well to deal with the pitfalls of riding a bike on the roads.

Heres the can of worms - About 10 Years ago I got pulled over 3 times in 1 week for a license check I asked the copper whats going on, he then explained some stats that blew me away - 3 out off every 10 motorbike pulled over where unlicensed
and the unlicensed riders accounted for around 50% of the deaths of riders on the road
Seems while the tests prepared you very well it was ruthlessly conducted and these stats show that 3 of the 10 decided to risk it and quiet a few of them paid for it with there lives or life long injuries . I would image there are unlicensed jetski riders out there but we dont need any more going that route because testing was the hard option

some more suggestion for Pwc License process

1 Theory Test
2 Probation period 2years
2.1 option of rider training course (Bypass Probation Period)

Probation period rules
P Plates to be displayed and clearly visible
Where fitted with personality key technology - Beginner - intermediate key must be used
if not fitted with personality key technology - 2/3 throttle limit max
Zero tolerance of swimmer/water-skier speed and distance incursion laws

*Rider Training course
introductory, intermediate , advanced and code of conduct training
By completing rider training course then removes Probation restrictions

Probation period violation penalty's
re-sit test
re-start new Probation Period