Jet Ski Accident on Allegheny River Draws Attention to Risks
Pittsburgh Man's Death Leads to Safety Reminders
Warnings and statistics may sound unrealistic at times, but Pittsburgh is getting an all too real reminder about the potential dangers of water sports. A Penn Hills resident recently died in the Allegheny River after a jet ski accident.
In a typical year, there are between 4,250 and 5,000 boating and personal watercraft accidents. "Operator Inattention" is usually the largest contributor to boat crashes, but this man's case involved some dangerous speeds and turns. There was also a child passenger on board who was rescued.
The Personal Watercraft Industry Association (PWIA) has created a Safe Rider initiative. They mandated safety training courses for personal watercraft and the Safe Rider Pledge, making riders promise to allow space between themselves and other boats to avoid split-second turns.
PWIA recommends that users of recreational vehicles always observe certain jet ski safety tips to make sure accidents like these don't happen. They urge riders to:
- Get your certification. You can't ride without it.
- Ride within your limits. If you have little experience or aren't comfortable in certain waters, there's no need to push yourself.
- Avoid aggressive maneuvers. Sharp turns, high speeds, and hard stops can toss riders from personal watercraft.
- Watch out for waves. Hitting a boat's wake to jump on a jet ski is a huge risk. Unless you are being trained in safe environments, avoid these at all times.
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