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  1. #1
    ripcuda's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Newman Lake, WA

    1st Time I saw this... runaway ski... close one!

    Was out on the family pontoon (new to the fleet... just got it a few days ago) tonight with the fam... enjoying an evening cruise and tugging the little ones on a tube. We were heading back in slowly towards our dock. Our dock is near the public boat launch where all the standup jetski guys and daily riders hangout, park, play and whatnot... on the public waterfront area of the launch.

    Also out on the lake... a HUGE party floatie, we call it. A large group of people regularly bring out 2 huge floating lounge party inflatables... one with a slide. There's even some sort of umbrella/shade thing on it. They tie them all together and enjoy the day on the lake. One person brings a sitdown jetski to tow them out into the lake... and for rides and whatnot.

    Well today, a young dude.. riding an old JS550 standup... fell off. And like the old Kawi's... this one has the "come back around" while idling system for when you fall off (no lanyards). Except this dudes throttle stuck above idle and his ski left him behind as it took off at a good clip making a HUGE circle. I was scanning the area and saw this weird, low-to-the-water, splashing and wake. I thought standup... only thing that small... and I guessed the rider was superman'ing it. But it kept going and I didn't see a rider pop-up or a head and then started getting concerned. It was making a big loop and coming around. At this point I realized it was a runaway ski. The jetski was on course to swing between me and the giant party floatie group... so I started yelling to them. As the ski passed between us... I could see this ski on its current left turning trajectory was going to crash into my neighbors big dock. There was nothing I could do but watch the train wreck.

    Then out of nowhere... Mr. party floatie jetski guy bounded on his ski and took off full speed. He still had a small kiddie tube tied behind him on a long rope (thankfully with no person on it). It flew into the air and bounced behind him as he streaked for the runaway jetski. I wasn't sure what his plan was. Was he going to lunge off his ski onto the runaway jetski like those rodeo riders that jump off their horse to hog tie the baby steer? Instead, he had a better idea. He darted across in front of it and quickly came up along side it and redirected its trajectory into a sharper left turn to miss my neighbors dock... all the while grabbing and holding the handlebar and directing it to safety. He then got it shutoff (it probably has a stop button like my standup). Mr party floatie jetski guy had saved the day!

    We all hooted and hollered and gave him thumbs-ups! His party floatie mates cheered. It was quick thinking and action. I for one am glad he was there on this day!

    As we neared our dock... the jetski rider... who had been retrieved by another boat and reunited with his runaway jetski was idling back out again. I told him to "hang on"! He smiled... and told me his throttle stuck and he was going to adjust it. I waved... and then my Mother-in-law (who was along for the cruise) said... I've been thinking about getting insurance for our boat. Haha. Yeah... good idea.

    May your days on the water be safe!


  2. #2
    Moderator HiPeRcO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Upstate NY

  3. #3
    Myself's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    North Central Arkansas
    I ride stand-ups too. You're supposed to check all that stuff out BEFORE you go falling off of it out in the water.

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