Plans for beach supervisor, tougher penalties and public orders to crack down on ‘jet-skiing’ breaches

Plans to crack down on those breaching the rules

A Summer beach and coastal supervisor role is due to be put in place by Thanet council in a bid to crack down on those jet-skiing in prohibited areas.

The officer role, which is likely to be extended beyond the summer, is in response to complaints of those using the crafts in swimming areas instead of launching from designated slipways on the isle.

Pauline Farrance

At a Thanet council meeting last night (July 9) Cllr Pauline Farrance asked what steps would be taken to ensure ‘jet skiers’  only launched from designated slip ways and to deal with those, including paddleboarders and kayakers, who stray into swimming areas.

Cllr Steve Albon, Cabinet member for operational services, revealed the supervisor  would be the ‘eyes and ears on the ground’ and that tougher enforcement with a Public Spaces Protection Order was also planned.

He said: “Communications have been sent out to all members of the water users group reminding them of the rules and what’s expected of them.

“Individuals identified will be contacted and their permits revoked if they breach the rules continuously. The RNLI will tackle those breaking the rules on the beaches they control.

“We are designating a Summer beach and coastal supervisor who can support, with being the eyes and ears on the ground, closing barriers, engaging with water users and reminding them of the rules.

“We would like to make this a long term position as it is very much needed, particularly in providing weekend support to our staff and partner agencies as well as gathering intelligence on the problems.”

A review of how effective signs, bollards and barriers are at problem hotspots will also be carried out.

Cllr Albon also revealed that Thanet council aims to strengthen powers to deal with those breaking the rules by putting in place the PSPO – which will allow enforcement action such as penalty notices.

He said: “In the long term we are looking at strengthening our powers over the coastal by-laws to make them more easily enforceable and with more serious penalties.

“To do this we are exploring a Public Spaces Protection Order which will encompass all the old by-laws and new requirements.”

Designated jet skiing sites

Birchington

Beresford Gap, Birchington
Launching facilities are not part of the water user group. Launching facilities for speed boats, jet skis and waterskiing are designated for members of the Beresford Water Ski Club only. Please contact Leigh Flockhart at [email protected] or 07808 232011.

Margate

Winter Gardens, Margate
Launching permitted for PWC (jet ski, jet bikes, wet bikes only).

Cliftonville

Palm Bay/Hodge’s Gap, Cliftonville
Launching facilities are not part of the water user group. Launching for PWC (jet ski, jet bikes, wet bikes only) are operated by Jet Ski World (cafe/showers/toilets). Fees apply, contact Jet Ski World on 01843 231703.

Ramsgate

Eastern Undercliff, Ramsgate
Launching permitted for PWC (jet ski, jet bikes, wet bikes only).

22 Comments

  1. Well they need pretty big eyes and pretty big ears to monitor the whole Thanet Coastline on a sunny day.

  2. All this was put in place years ago when stakeholders and other interested parties came up with Thanet Coastal codes to protect swimmers and wildlife.we still have coastal wardens although no powers only monitoring aspsrt of the Thanet Coast Project.The main problem is the slipway that the RNLI use the barriers are left open which is needed.That area needs policing asap. To prevent accidents. Until a new home is found there will always be the problem there.The turner should not be allowed to take over the whole area it seems art is more important than saving lives. The lifeboat station could be built around the area next to the harbour arm where foundations are still there from the large area where the original entrance to where the jetty used to be most people would have said the pier.

  3. I may be being ignorant here. But I see a list above where Jet skis can launch Jet skis, but where in Thanet are you allowed to launch a paddleboards and kayaks? I did not realise there is any restrictions , I have always thought you just used common sense where you launch. Can anyone please tell me if I am wrong as I do not want to get in trouble when I got out on my kayak.

  4. There is room to build a lifeboat station on the bend nearer to Winter Gardens. It could easily be built over the sands there. It could incorporate a new slipway straight into the sea which would save a heck of a lot of time to how it is launched at present, having to be drawn by tractor through the street to the harbour entrance, stopping traffic, then a long journey out to the water if the tide is out. Even for the smaller inflatable or rigid fast craft they have to go the same route when there is a slipway right next to the station. It’s about time a new plan was made. And, if the Turner Centre is expanding through the car park then it will need to be ready soon.

    • I am no expert, but I have always thought that when the sea is rough it would be really tricky to launch the lifeboat without the shelter of the harbour wall, and impossible to recover without dragging it onto the main sands. If the tide is out by the Winter Gardens the tractor would have to drive over the chalk reef to launch and recover. So it is not practical. Instead of moving the Lifeboat, when the Turner Centre closes in September for a refit. move The Turner to Barnes car park. Or let the Lifeboat move to the main sand as they wanted to go a few years ago.

      • There used to be two slipways on the old pier from which lifeboats were launched directly into the sea so to build a new lifeboat house and slipway shouldn’t be a problem from somewhere along the Rendzevous.
        Build a platform over the rocks area, not on the land and the lifeboat can launch straight into the sea low or high tide.
        I don’t know why it was ever put where it is now with the great rigmarole to launch it which is very time consuming. When in an emergency situation every minute counts. There would be a big problem having a station on the main beach where the public roam. You would have to fence a large section off making the beach smaller and liability insurance would be a lot higher than having it’s own place away from any public.

  5. This is great news, long overdue.

    Does this mean just one person, travelling all of Thanet?

    It’s a great idea, but will barely work with just one person.

    What happens when a jet ski is seen passing through a swimming area, how are they going to be tracked, and caught? Will the beach patrol have a jet ski to chase them?

        • Haha, they are all looking a bit old and droopy now, but a great idea.
          I can just see the drama of jet ski chases and police officer Garner Ellerbe arresting the criminal on the beach. Margate Baywatch 🙂

          • What about CHIPS (California Highway Patrol), from many years ago. Perhaps Erik Estrada, would also be willing to give a hand in the arresting.

  6. When you take your Jet ski abroad you have to have your RYA certificate. You don’t need one in the UK which is madness. If a jet ski is launched at a designated site it doesn’t mean to say they know what they are doing!! The law in this country has to change. Change the locks next year to barriers, all jet skiers have a brief course before given a key? Might help?

  7. About time..often flouting of one set of rules goes with another e.g. portable barbeques on the harbour beach. Though it’s true that seizing the vehicles with a Border Control type frigate might be the only answer!

  8. Hopefully the officers will be supplied with high powered rifles to take them out as they scream through the waters, they certainly don’t take any notice when asked not to use their jet skis in certain areas.

  9. Not only are jet ski riders lacking in common sense (IOTN items about jet skiers being rescued, running aground, vehicles submerged by rising tide) they can’t read, either.
    At the launch site in Ramsgate, there is a sign directing PWC users to turn LEFT towards Dumoton Gap and Norway, not along the Main Sands, nor towards Pegwell Bay.
    More power to TDC as they try to address this dangerous and antisocial activity

  10. Well done TDC, this is a good thing. There are jet skis exactly as Tony says at Ramsgate regularly, they sit by the sign that says turn left, and then they drive their vans down the slipway and onto the main sands with the swimmers. They don’t give two figs for the rules.

  11. Jet skis along the Main Beach yesterday afternoon. Plenty of swimmers, paddle boarders and kayaks about.
    Come on, TDC, sort it out.
    If there aren’t enough beach inspectors, and the jet skiers keep ignoring the rules, weld the gate at the Eastcliff launch site shut.

  12. We don’t know any of these rule breaking jet skiers only normal people who abide by the rules and are horrified at the amount of people who do not live in the area that come here to use their PWC for the day and give all the considerate and responsible ones a bad name. So yes any control is welcome but please don’t paint all water craft users as a nuisance. They are sometimes nice people and occasionally very helpful to other water users. We know of a man in a boat who was in trouble and a child on a Lilo being blown out to see who were rescued by jet skiers, so they are not all bad. Quite a few local jet skiers that we know of are respectful of the dangers of the sea and use it considerately as well as respecting and caring about other users.

  13. Unfortunately the ones people notice are the ones who are behaving life selfish teenagers, zooming alongs near beaches where they should not be, and putting other people in danger.

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