February 9, 2023

He will appear in court at a later date.

Charging

The incident is the latest in a series of recent incidents involving jet skis on the Mornington Peninsula, which has reignited debate over safety issues and the need for exclusion zones to protect bathers and marine wildlife.

On Saturday, a man was airlifted to Alfred Hospital with serious injuries after the jet ski he was riding crashed into another jet ski at Safety Beach. A woman on the other boat is believed to have injured her foot, but was not required to be taken to hospital for treatment.

And on Friday, two cyclists were filmed by beachgoers harassing a pod of dolphins in Port Philip Bay. The images showed the couple riding at low speed very close to the animals.

Most beaches and waterways are subject to a 5 knot boat speed limit through “shared zones” within 200 meters of shoreline. Jet skis and boats are also supposed to stay at least 50 meters from swimmers and other watercraft.

Mornington Peninsula Mayor Steve Holland is among those spearheading a push to create jet ski no-go zones in sensitive areas along the peninsula amid fears that families are avoiding beaches due to security concerns.

“We are at our limit now,” he told Nine News.. “We need the state government and the minister to step up and make sure the Water Police have active resources so they can patrol the bay here.”

Mechelle Cheers, who has campaigned for years against jet skis at Rye Beach in Port Phillip Bay, said the growing number of passengers was a major source of concern for coastal communities.

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She told 3AW earlier this week that it was not uncommon for the stretch of beach west of the pier in Rye to be occupied by dozens of jet skis, preventing others from enjoying the area.

The number of Victorians who buy jet skis skyrocketed during the pandemicwhile young Melbournes eager to get out of the city spent their savings on boats.

A jet-skier takes to the water in Rye.Credit:eddie jim

As of early 2022, there were over 26,000 registered personal watercraft in Victoria, 36% more than in 2015.

Cheers, who chairs the Rye Community Group Alliance, wants stricter regulations preventing jet skis from operating on the beach and an increase in designated swim-only areas.

“It’s not rocket science, it really isn’t,” he said. “But for whatever reason, the state government to date has refused to address that type of issue.”

Acting Water Police Sergeant Michael Greenwood said police had deployed strike teams along the coast and would not tolerate dangerous behavior on jet skis.

“The bay is a shared space – keep others in mind when using it,” he said. “If you engage in this type of behavior, please remember that our strike teams are not far behind. You will be caught.

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