Stop Clowning Around. Here’s How To Go Jetskiing Safely.

Stop Clowning Around. Here’s How To Go Jetskiing Safely.

New South Wales boasts some of the most picturesque rivers, lakes, dams and coasts in Australia, and this makes it an ideal playground for jetski enthusiasts. However, with great thrill comes great responsibility. To ensure other waterway users’ safety and preserve the beauty of the NSW waters, it’s essential to operate your jet ski responsibly. In this post, we’ll explore the specific guidelines and tips for safely operating a jet ski on New South Wales waterways, allowing you to enjoy the adrenaline rush while respecting the rules and regulations.

1. Get Licensed and Informed

No licence? No ride. Before you hit the waves, make sure you possess the necessary licence to operate a jetski in New South Wales waters. This licence is called a Personal Watercraft (PWC) licence, and it’s an upgrade on top of a boat licence. We run boating safety and licence courses that cover both of these licences at the same time. Knowledge is your best tool for safe jetskiing.

2. Respect Speed Limits and No-Wake Zones

– Speed Limits: Abide by the designated speed limits in different areas. Speed limits are in place to ensure the safety of everyone on the water, including swimmers, boaters, and fellow jet skiers.

– No-Wake Zones: Be especially mindful of no-wake zones near marinas, harbors, and sensitive environmental areas. Reduce your speed to create minimal wake, preventing erosion and disturbance to wildlife. The are also PWC no-go areas called PWC exclusion zones. As the name suggests, You cannot operate your PWC in these areas. A list of these areas can be found on Transport for NSW’s website.

3. Maintain a Safe Distance

– Keep Away from Swimmers: Always keep a safe distance from swimmers and other watercraft. Jetskis can be noisy and fast-moving, making it essential to avoid startling or endangering others. Remember your COLREG’s and the minimum required distance (60m) from people in the water.

– Mind Your Wake: Be aware of the wake your jet ski creates. A large wake can be disruptive and potentially hazardous to smaller vessels.

4. Use Safety Gear

– Lifejacket: It’s not just a recommendation; wearing a lifejacket is mandatory in NSW when operating a PWC. Ensure your life jacket is appropriate for jetskiing and fits you snugly.

– Kill switch lanyard: Attached to your wrist, this will disconnect from the ski when you fall off, automatically shutting off the PWC’s engine.

– Other equipment: Many jetskis will have a small compartment for storage. In here you should also have a waterproof torch, first aid kit, fire extinguisher and more. See Transport for NSW’s website for a list of other recommended equipment.

5. Check Your Equipment

– Regular Maintenance: Keep your jet ski well-maintained, checking the engine, steering, and other components regularly. A well-maintained jetski is a safe jetski.

– Emergency Shut-Off Lanyard: Always attach the kill-switch lanyard to your person or lifejacket. This safety feature stops the engine if you fall off, preventing the jetski from becoming a runaway vessel.

6. Be Weather-Wise

– Check Weather Conditions: Stay updated on weather forecasts before heading out. Avoid jet skiing in adverse weather conditions, such as strong winds, storms, or fog, which can be dangerous and limit visibility. Ignore uncle Terry’s bum knee, use the BOM for accurate weather forecasts.

7. Be Mindful of Wildlife and the Environment

– Respect Wildlife: Keep a safe distance from marine life, birds, and other wildlife. Your presence should not disturb or harm the natural habitat.

– Avoid Sensitive Areas: Steer clear of seagrass beds, coral reefs, and other fragile ecosystems. Jetski responsibly to preserve the marine environment.

8. Know the Rules and Regulations

– Stay Informed: Familiarize yourself with the specific rules and regulations of the waterways you plan to explore. Different areas might have unique guidelines, and being informed ensures you comply with local laws.


By adhering to these guidelines and respecting the rules and regulations, you can enjoy the thrill of jet skiing on the New South Wales waterways while ensuring the safety of yourself, others, and the environment. Responsible skiing not only preserves the natural beauty of the area but also sets a positive example for future water sports enthusiasts. So, gear up, follow the rules, and have a fantastic time exploring the stunning waterways of New South Wales!

Bonus step: get your licence

Don’t become the stereotypical jet skier. You can go hard, but remember to play safe.

Our NSW boat and PWC licence courses are delivered by experienced and accredited trainers who provide in-depth education to not only pass the licence exam, but to also stay safe on the water.

To get your licence, you can book online or reach out to our friendly office team on (02) 9524 5678.

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