Written by Ronemus & Vilensky on March 30, 2021
The popularity of Jet Skis, WaveRunners, Sea-Doos, and other water scooters is at an all-time high. Not only are they an easy entry point to boat ownership, but they’re also affordable and just plain fun. From the Harlem River to New York Harbor, there’s no shortage of ways to tour the Big Apple via personal watercraft. As with virtually any machine that uses a motor, however, these toys can also present certain and considerable hazards.
Are Jet Skis Dangerous?
et Skis present various threats to personal safety. Some of these are true of all boats; others are specific to scooters.
Arguably the biggest cause of Jet Ski accidents is operators who don’t know how to control their craft. In some locations, there is no prerequisite for renting or buying water scooters. This gives individuals who don’t know how to use a throttle, navigate around obstacles or even get back on board the craft if they fall off carte blanche to navigate shared waterways. This can be a source of grave danger not only for the novice operator but also for everyone else on or in the water.
A wide array of other factors can lead to scooter accidents. Some of the most common include:
- Dangerous weather conditions
- Failure to follow posted rules and warnings
- Excessive speed
- Mechanical failure
- Photo, video, and cell phone distractions
- Drug and alcohol consumption
Another accident cause is the failure to use common sense and survey surroundings. An August 2020 collision on the Harlem River made the news when a carefree day on the water proved catastrophic. Around 8 p.m., two men on Jet Skis were involved in a collision. Eyewitnesses said the men were attempting to perform tricks. The two scooters veered too closely together on one pass, ultimately making contact. One man suffered minor injuries according to the police. The other man was taken to the hospital where attempts to resuscitate him failed and he was pronounced dead later that night.
This tragic event on the Harlem River is just one example of a death that could’ve easily been avoided. Only one month prior, in July 2020, another collision occurred near Evers Marina in the Bronx. Police said the accident happened just after nightfall and threw the victims into nearby Eastchester Bay. Neither man survived; both were pronounced dead at the scene.
Example of a real case: Our client was on the back of a jetski made by Bombardier. The driver accelerated and she fell off the back with her legs spread and the jet from the jetski went up into her vagina and rectum and ruptured both of them. They are called orifice injuries and Bombardier is well aware that this is an ongoing problem and can cause serious permanent injuries. They have been sued many times. They could prevent this from happening by merely adding a seatback onto the seat to prevent people from falling off the back like this incident.
If you or someone you know was injured in an accident involving personal watercraft, contact the New York City law office of Ronemus & Vilensky for a free consultation.
Is It Safe To Jet Ski in the Ocean?
Modern Jet Skis are significantly more stable than their predecessors, making many of them capable of ocean use. That said, operating personal watercraft in the ocean presents its own safety concerns, especially with regard to navigation. It’s far easier to become lost in the ocean, especially when its vastness encourages operators to travel longer distances than usual or advisable.
Other factors uncommon to lakes and interior routes can also complicate using Jet Skis, WaveRunners, Sea-Doos, and similar watercraft in the ocean, thereby increasing the likelihood of an accident, injury, or death. These include unpredictable weather, sharks, shipwrecks and other large, submerged objects.
Has Anyone Crossed the Atlantic on a Jet Ski?
In 2002, Alvaro de Marichalar became the first person to cross the Atlantic Ocean via personal watercraft. He spent four months traveling from Rome to Miami, riding for roughly 12 hours per day and followed by a support ship carrying food and fuel. The total distance he traveled was bested just four years later by two men from South Africa, Adriaan Marais, and Marinus du Plessis who traveled down the west coast of North America to the Panama Canal.
While the advances made year after year in scooter design have made traveling the open ocean easier, adventure seekers don’t have to search far for ways to make the news that won’t leave them injured or dead.
What Should You Do If You’re Involved in a Jet Ski Accident in New York City?
The first thing you should do is attend to any injuries. The health of all parties involved is paramount. Next, document the scene using photo and video and contact the police. Expect officers to collect information from everyone involved, including what may be said by witnesses. They may also want to search the area for evidence to help complete any reports. Finally, enlist the help of an experienced law firm. At the offices of Ronemus & Vilensky, we’re prepared to fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.
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