UK reckless jet skiers to face prison and unlimited fines thanks to law change

UK reckless jet skiers to face prison and unlimited fines thanks to law change. Image: UK Government / Department for Transport, Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

New legislation will grant more powers to prosecute people for the dangerous misuse of watercraft, such as jet skis.

Anyone caught riding a jet ski recklessly or causing harm to others in the UK could now face up to two years in prison and an unlimited fine, thanks to a change in the law.

Maritime and Coastguard Agency will be granted more powers to prosecute, as the government works to ensure the UK’s waters continue to be some of the safest in the world

The new law will come into force on March 31, before the busy summer period and will enable watercraft users to be prosecuted and bound by the same laws that apply to ships in order to help to prevent accidents.

This follows a boom in the watercraft industry during the pandemic, with the number, size, power and availability of watercraft like jet skis increasing, and their use in UK waters rising significantly.

Maritime Minister, Baroness Vere said: “The watercraft industry is thriving and it’s great to see more and more people enjoying leisure activities. However, they must do so safely.”

“That’s why we’re introducing a new law to crack down on any dangerous misuse of watercraft like jet skis. It will give the Maritime and Coastguard Agency greater power to prosecute those responsible for causing accidents or entirely avoidable tragedies.”

“We’ll continue working to ensure our country’s coasts and waters are safe for everyone.”

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Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.