The maritime chief of the Balearics, Jose Maria Marques, has announced that jet ski complaints are down from 96 last year to only 16 this year. He states that the reason for the vast decrease could be because so many people were fined last year that they have been put off violating the maritime laws which govern the small but potentially lethal craft. Every year jet skis are painted as a great menace to swimmers and surfers, who have been mown down in the past by drunken operators or those who simply do not know how to operate the machines. Despite its successes, the Balearic Government has a specific problem taking action against foreign jet skis. Action can only be taken against these craft if there has been an actual incident or an accident. There are approximately 1'500 jet skis on Majorca and new rules and regulations are in place to help keep them in check. It is Spanish law that the user must be over 18, have a licence, insurance, be wearing a life jacket and respect the Maritime rules of navigation and seamanship. The skis have never been allowed in swimming areas but these rules are being implemented with new vigour, with a speed limit of only 5.5 kms/hr if the craft is anywhere near a beach. There used to be a great problem of users falling off the skis and them veering uncontrolled into bathing areas, ploughing into swimmers. There are now rules which ensure that the key to the engine pulls out with the user so the engine is cut off as soon as the driver falls. Jet skis continue to be a very popular recreational “toy” in the resorts of Majorca.


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