Reckless jet bike users ‘terrorise’ swimmers at Botany Bay

Restrictions include reduce areas where powered water bikes can be used

Reckless jet ski users have been caught on video apparently terrorising swimmers on lilos.

Sam Causer was walking through Botany Bay when the noise of the engines speeding around swimmers on lilos caught his attention. The Margate architect filmed the incident saying the “people on the lilos were screaming and the beach fell silent in horror.”

It is unknown whether the swimmers, who may have been on a lilo or sitting on paddle boards, knew the jet  skiers but it did not make the incident any less frightening for onlookers or less dangerous. Sam explained: “When the jet skis came back west after heading east I don’t think they interacted again. But not I’m not 100% sure.  Knowing your victim doesn’t make dangerous violence ok though.”

Jet Ski World, which operates from Palm Bay, was quick to condemn the behaviour and says they were not launched from their business which is situated on Hodges’s Gap Promenade. They said: “Totally unacceptable behaviour – Anyone that has launched from Jet Ski World and is found out to be causing serious danger to other people in the sea, will be removed from the water and will never launch from Jet Ski World, no exceptions.

“I can confirm that these people in the video were NOT launched from Jet Ski World.

“Anyone that sees this happening should report this disgusting behaviour to us or coast guard so that we can stamp out the minority idiots who cause a bad name to jet skis once again.”

It comes as Lisa Richards, who owns GB Pizza, slammed the use of skis in Margate Harbour saying they were racing each other. She said: “People are swimming and jet skis are racing in and out. It’s quite terrifying.”

According to the Riding Personal Water Craft Kent guidelines users are required to comply with international regulations for the prevention of collisions at sea and any local byelaws, which may restrict PWC use. It states: “You must always observe local water safety regulations but, as a general rule, must not exceed a speed of 8knots/10mph when your craft is within 300m of the shoreline, unless otherwise
stated.”

  • Report incidents: In an emergency contact the Coastguard on 999 or VHF channel 16.
    If you see any PWC rider acting irresponsibly, endangering other water users or
    breaking the law you should report this by contacting Kent Police on
    01622 798565 (Marine Unit) or 01622 690690.

Designated Areas

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
leighflockhart@hotmail.com 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