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  1. #1
    steve45's Avatar
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    JetSki Accident With Serious Injuries

    My nephew took his 750 STS out to a local pond to test it after repairs. He took another couple and their 4 year old son with him. When they were done, the friend decided to take his son for one more ride before they loaded up to go home. The 'Ski was facing the shore, probably beached. The friend put his son on the 'Ski and went to the back to turn it around. He had the lanyard attached to the kill switch and to his wrist. It wasn't long enough to reach the back of the 'Ski, so he took it off of his wrist. After he got the 'Ski pointed toward the lake and was getting ready to board, his son hit the start button...

    Apparently he was scared and grabbed the handlebars--including the throttle trigger. It ran a couple hundred yards and crashed into boulders piled up along the dam. Another couple was nearby with their 'Skis and everybody jumped on to chase the kid. He ended up being airlifted to a trauma center with head injuries, but they think he will be OK. The 'Ski is hull is totaled, the engine runs.

    Of course, everyone is quite upset about this and don't want to see it happen again. I'm going to institute a rule that lanyards will be removed from all of my 'Skis when not in use and will be given to a responsible adult. It's too tempting for a kid to go out and sit on one and pretend to drive it.

    I carry a lot of insurance on my stuff, along with a million dollar umbrella policy. I would urge everyone to do likewise! Insurance is cheap compared to major injuries or death.


  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve45 View Post
    ... The friend put his son on the 'Ski and went to the back to turn it around. He had the lanyard attached to the kill switch and to his wrist. It wasn't long enough to reach the back of the 'Ski, so he took it off of his wrist. ...
    One lesson here is to always remove the lanyard from the watercraft, not the operator, if keeping the lanyard inserted is a problem.

    Personally I am an advocate for attaching lanyards to the PFD, not using wrist loops. Clipped on every PFD, this reinforces that the lanyard should be pulled from the handlebar, not unclipped from the operator.

    Except for Seadoo, spare lanyards are inexpensive so one can be clipped to each PFD.
    Last edited by K447; 11-08-2019 at 12:14 AM.

  3. #3
    This is how I run a jetski shop in the desert nmpeter's Avatar
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    so sorry to hear about this steve. I hope for the best outcome that is possible given the circumstances

  4. #4
    steve45's Avatar
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    They expect the boy to be OK. I can't imagine how scared he must have been right before impact. I suspect the adults present will be haunted by this worse than the boy himself.

    K447, I like your idea of simply attaching a lanyard to each ADULT life jacket. When I drive my boat, I attach it to my life jacket. There is a spare in the boat in case I get ejected. I did have a problem years ago with the lanyard being too long. I was 'maneuvering' and ended up on the floor on the other side of the boat, engines at full throttle... I was able to get back up, but if I had hit my head, it would have been a disaster. I still need to shorten it, I'll consider this a wake-up call.

  5. #5
    I had a similar scary incident back when I had my 900 ZXIs. Somebody's kid wanted to drive one but he was too young, so I put him in front of me/showed him the throttle, how to steer etc. I never let go of the handlebars and I was still wearing the lanyard, but unexpectedly the kid hammered down on the throttle. I came very very close to being thrown off/my grip on the handlebars was reduced to just my fingertips. I was able to recover and hit the red button, but still scary as hell. SO glad I was wearing the lanyard anyway!

  6. #6
    Glad he will be okay!

  7. #7
    TimeBandit's Avatar
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    First let me say what an unfortunate tragedy for the boy and the family.

    Quote Originally Posted by K447 View Post

    Personally I am an advocate for attaching lanyards to the PFD, not using wrist loops.

    Clipped on every PFD, this reinforces that the lanyard should be pulled from the handlebar, not unclipped from the operator.
    ^^^ Yes, this !

    Not long after becoming a first-time PWC owner did I abandon the wrist strap. It's only reinforced good safety habits.

    Plus, on-top of what K447 said, also having it affixed to the PFD actually discourages these so-called whimsical one-off lending habits, as one would also have to then swap/borrow PFDs or borrow etc... Sure, I get that one can detach and reattach to another PFD yet exactly my point here ... it's a deliberate chore to do it and not perceived to be as quick and convenient as throwing the wrist strap at someone.
    Last edited by TimeBandit; 08-08-2019 at 06:14 AM. Reason: PDF

  8. #8
    steve45's Avatar
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    I spoke with my nephew this evening. Great news! The boy is home and acting/playing normally. He has a bump on his head and a cut under his eye, but seems just fine otherwise. Praise the Lord!!!

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  10. #9
    moparguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve45 View Post
    I spoke with my nephew this evening. Great news! The boy is home and acting/playing normally. He has a bump on his head and a cut under his eye, but seems just fine otherwise. Praise the Lord!!!
    been following this thread, and thank God. That's fantastic news!!!!

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