Tales of a Personal Watercraft Pirate — How to Prepare for the Unexpected

Tales of a Personal Watercraft Pirate

How to Prepare for the Unexpected

“It was a beautiful sunny day when I strapped on my life jacket and prepared for what I knew would be an absolutely exhilarating experience — I was about to drive a personal watercraft for the very first time! This was an activity that had been on my bucket list for quite a while, so I could hardly contain my excitement. I imagined myself as a daring action hero, fearlessly speeding across the water as I performed jumps, flips and other daredevil stunts. But when I climbed onto the PWC, I was brought back to reality. Without hesitating, I cruised away from the dock with the wind blowing in my face and adrenaline coursing through my veins. I was having the time of my life!

I could’ve easily spent the entire day riding on the water. The only thing that stopped me was the fact that I had to take turns with my cousins. I was able to ride three times that afternoon, and by the end of the day, I would’ve been able to call myself a PWC pro had it not been for one major mishap.

On my third trip, I was driving with more confidence and carelessness — a bad combination. After wildly jetting around near the middle of the lake, I foolishly decided to halt to a stop. Instantly, I was overtaken by a large wave and flipped off into the water. Shocked and slightly embarrassed, I found myself floating helplessly — far away from the shore. It was more difficult than I imagined to flip the PWC right side up and pull myself aboard. I was exhausted, and with a new sense caution, I slowly rode into shore.

Though I now find this story of my misadventure to be amusing, I must admit that I learned a valuable lesson. Based on my experience, here are five ways you can stay safe and be prepared for the unexpected while operating a PWC:

  • Carry helpful items in case of an emergency.

    Most PWCs have a waterproof compartment where you can store important items while you ride. A few things I suggest bringing are a cell phone, a first aid kit and sunscreen.

  • Remember your safety lanyard.

    Many PWCs have a lanyard that you can attach to your wrist or life jacket. If you fall off…”

Continue reading this article for more watery safety tips while operating a jet ski.


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