At The water Cooler

By: Mike Lipshultz

I spent most of the holiday weekend on the water.  Almost killed a couple of Jet Skier's.  The first one tried to jump the "wake" between me and the boat I was following, (at about 40 miles an hour).  He was in the middle of the jump when he realized he was going to "land" in the side of my boat.  Nothing like hitting reverse and taking a sharp turn at 40 miles an hour!  We missed by a very narrow margin.

The next one was at very low speed.  At least I was going slowly.  I was bringing a 28-foot boat into the dock.  I was about 4 feet from the side of the dock.  A jet skier shot in, getting between the side of my boat and the dock.  He wanted to let off his passenger.  If I had not slammed it into reverse and hit the gas.  I would have crushed him and his jet ski between the hull and the dock.

Another jet skier did jump my wake as I was maneuvering over to a law enforcement boat.  He almost landed in the copís boat.  But then it made it easier to give him a ticket.

Please don't think I'm picking on jet skiers.  I'm not.  I'm pointing out folks that are stupid.  A watercraft is a dangerous thing.  It does not start, stop, or maneuver like a car.  If you are going to play on the water then take the time to do two things.

Learn your craft and its handling.

Take a boating safety class.

Just find a spot on the water and take the time to learn how your watercraft handles.  Practice turning, not just at high speed, but also at low speed.  Practice just holding in one place, without moving forward or backward.


As for the boating class.  Check these sites out:

Still not convinced about taking a boating Safety Course?  Then read this: 
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Last modified: November 08, 2002