Over recent years as more and more of us spend time in the outdoors for our health and wellbeing and enjoy holidaying at home, one of the water activities that has seen a notable increase in popularity is the use of Personal Water Craft (PWC) or Jet Ski, as they are commonly referred to.
In response to this Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership and 13 other coastal management stakeholders have launched Safety Checklist and Responsible User Checklist, facilitated by Leave No Trace Ireland, to remind all PWC users of some top hints and tips that will help to make their experiences, and the experiences of those around them, safer and more sustainable.
These checklists seek to remind those heading out on a PWC to look after not only their own personal safety, but also the safety of others in or on the water around them, to be conscious of residents on land nearby, and also the wildlife.
Maura Kiely, CEO of Leave No Trace Ireland said, “We are delighted to launch this Personal Water Craft Checklist with Strangford Lough & Lecale Partnership and the thirteen other organisations who collaborated on this project. With more people than ever taking up water-based activities, it’s so important to promote safe and responsible water practices. The checklist acts as an easy-to-follow guide for water craft users with the key message to ‘have a plan and know your limits’. In doing so we can all reduce our impacts on our environment.”
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Cathy Mason said “There is an onus on PWC users to enjoy their activity responsibly. I would ask everyone heading out on a PWC to take just a few minutes to read these checklists, to be safe, and consider the impact that their activity can have both on others and on the wildlife around them. Some of the key messages that I have picked out from these checklists are that you should: always carry with you a means of calling for help, such as a mobile phone in a waterproof pouch; get training; stay clear of swimmers in the water; stay at least 100m away from wildlife, and be considerate of others whether they are on the water with you or on land nearby. By following these simple guidelines it will improve your safety and ensure that your activity is not adversely affecting other people, or the wildlife in the area.
You can view and download the Personal Watercraft Checklist here.