Thailand
Water Sports

 If you follow the the rules that are summarized below and use some common sense, you should have a good and safe time with these unique and exciting watercraft. The first thing to remember is that Jet Skis can be legally operated at only five beaches in Phuket: Patong, Karon, Kata, Kamala, and Bangtao. This shouldn't be an inconvenience for anyone as these are the most popular beaches on the island. Even if someone has what looks like a Jet Ski concession at another beach, don't rent from them. You risk a substantial fine and possible imprisonment.

 

Before renting any Jet Ski, check to see that it is licensed. The license numbers should be prominently displayed on both sides of the bow. Licensing is Phuket's way of controlling Jet Ski vendors. If you rent an unlicensed Jet Ski, you not only run the risk of dealing with an unreliable vendor, you make it difficult for Phuket authorities to control those who rent Jet Skis.

Anyone operating a Jet Ski in Phuket is required by law to hold documents indicating they are "Second Class Helmsmen of Power Driven Sea-going Vessels." This is obviously a requirement that is difficult to fulfill and one that is rarely checked by either those who rent Jet Skis or the authorities. Unfortunately, the only time it becomes important is if the person on the Jet Ski has an accident. The penalty for operating a Jet Ski without this documentation can be a fine of up to 10,000 baht or even imprisonment.

 

If you don't have this documentation, you can still enjoy riding a Jet Ski by going along as a passenger. The vendor will drive the craft and you sit behind as a passenger.

 

Common sense indicates that you should wear a life vest when riding a Jet Ski and this is the law in Phuket.  In addition the life vest must have a whistle "securely fastened by a line to a convenient spot on the front of the jacket."

There are several regulations concerning how Jet Skis should be operated in Phuket waters that should be observed by those renting the craft. Failure to observe these rules can result in a fine.

 

Jet Skis shouldn't be driven faster "than the conditions warrant," and operators should stay within 500 meters of the coastline. There is also a requirement that Jet Skis be operated only "when seas are calm." If the red flag is up, indicating that it is not safe to swim, it is also a time when you shouldn't be operating a Jet Ski.

 

A very important regulation is that Jet Skis aren't allowed in areas designated for swimming only. These areas are easy to distinguish as they are delineated by floats connected with a rope. Keep your Jet Ski out of these areas!

 

When you rent a Jet Ski, be sure you have established the price with the vendor before using the machineIf you have a conflict over your Jet Ski, call the Tourist Police at 219-878.  If it is an emergency, call 1699.

 

The rules and possible problems concerning Jet Skis look formidable. However, if you use common sense and follow the rules, you should have a good time.

 

Smooth sailing!

Please don't attempt this!  It scares away the fish... Any everyone else!