My name is Dove, Rob Dove.
Whilst jet skis might make us all feel like a 00 agent, we also need to remember that we’re not invincible unlike the characters in a Bond film. Your safety on the sea is the most important thing when you are out feeling the water under your feet, as Foreshore Inspector Rob Dove explains in his latest blog…
The British have always had an obsession and fascination with speed and the noise it creates. From the Merlin engine and agility of the Spitfire, the challenges of the Isle of Man TT to Formula One, it’s almost as cultural as queuing with a cup of tea in one hand and a slice of Victoria sponge in the other!
This obsession applies to land and sea, that’s when it becomes a challenging aspect for the Beach office team.
45-65 MPH on flat water with masses of open space would sound fun and exciting to anyone, and it is, I wont deny that. Conditions of late with offshore winds have created beautifully flat seas around our coastline, offering great conditions to launch, run and recover a jet ski with ease. The launch ramp at Goring being exceptionally busy with them.
With a jet ski, aside from the great fun the speed on the water can offer, comes danger. Everything happens and passes you by so quickly that it can be challenging to process all the potential risks and responsibilities you have operating on the water, such as: Avoiding Fishing nets/gear; driftwood; swimmers; bathers; looking out for maritime markers; divers below the surface; and other craft.
Jet skis and swimmers thrive off the same environment, both venturing out when the sea is flattest and the sun hottest. This is our biggest conflict and primary concern. We receive lots of calls concerned about jet skiers movement and behaviour from the jet ski launch ramp, located in Goring off Alinora Avenue.
We will always attend the location if a member of public is concerned, most of the time the jet skiers are operating safely and responsibly and mainly its the loud alien noise from the machines creating the concern alone.
As with most of our beach sections and waters off Worthing, it must be shared and there is space for all in a well thought out structure.
We ask jet skiers to read and follow instructions on the information boards at the launch ramp before launching and once in the water at a maximum of 8 knots, move south along the transit route denoted by yellow special marker buoys to outside the swim zone where the ocean is yours to enjoy to the maximum! Most of our issues come from skiers practising manoeuvres in the shallows of the transit route, please refrain from this guys.
Swimmers and bathers too, please keep out of the jet ski transit zone, it’s there to separate users and keep everyone safe.
You will often see either me or my colleagues at this location on an ATV, powerboat or our own jet ski ensuring bylaws are followed, information given and everyone stays safe. Like I mentioned earlier, there’s room and a right for all users to enjoy the facilities available.
If you area jet skier and are approached by us on our Beach inspectors jet ski, please stop to communicate. Other than enforce necessary waterborne byelaws, and looking after our jet ski community, we could be simply informing you of handy information such as issues to look out for local to you, i.e divers down, driftwood or deep water swimmers.
Enjoy and see you on the water!