x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Authority plans to introduce jet ski speed limit

The Dubai Maritime City Authority says it is considering imposing speed limits for jet ski users.

A jet ski passes a bather at a public beach in Dubai.
A jet ski passes a bather at a public beach in Dubai.

DUBAI // The Dubai maritime regulator is considering speed limits for jet-ski users and is in talks with Dubai Police to impose them.

"We want people to enjoy the sport but not risk their lives," said Ali Al Daboos, executive director of operations at Dubai Maritime City Authority.

This year, the authority has registered eight, mostly minor infringements by jet-ski users. But Mr Al Daboos said it was trying to bring more regulation in cooperation with the police and municipality.

He said the authority had recently spoken to several jet-ski companies and agencies to promote safety.

Jet skis can be ridden in designated areas at least 300 metres away from the shore, away from swimmers and other beachgoers.

"We are also putting up signboards, a timetable for jet skis and up to what area they can cover," Mr Al Daboos said. "They should not practise it after sunset and must keep away from swimmers."

Some 200 jet skis are registered in Dubai. The authority urged all owners to register and insure their vehicles to improve safety.

"This helps to ensure the jet skis are adequately equipped with the appropriate equipment, like safety jackets," Mr Al Daboos said.

In April, an Arab woman, 24, was hurt in a jet-ski accident in Al Mamzar. She reportedly lost control of her craft after being chased by male jet-skiers, and her face hit the steering column.

Last year, jet-ski crashes killed one man and left another seriously injured.

frahman@thenational.ae