New speed restrictions of five knots for jet skiers in areas of Port Phillip Bay will come into effect next month.
Rules restricting irregular riding of jet skis will be implemented by Maritime Safety Victoria to improve safety at Port Phillip Bay for all waterway users.
Weaving, surfing down, jumping over or across any waves, wake or wash and freestyling, which includes manoeuvres such as sharp turns, circular or semi-circular, will be banned in five-knot zones.
As of December 16, jet skis will be required to:
Navigate in the safest most direct course from the shore heading seaward, or from the sea towards the shore – this includes the beach, boat ramp or berthing facility including a jetty, pier or mooring.
Avoid any irregular riding or freestyling within the five knot speed restriction zones including donuts, circles, weaving.
Changes of direction to avoid other waterway users is allowed.
Acting director Cameron Toy said 67 per cent of respondents to a recent survey supported the new rule.
“Following an extensive public consultation process and having considered the significant feedback and comments received, I have taken the decision to implement this new rule,” Mr Toy said
Jet skiers found in breach of this rule may face a $330 fine.
“The new rule will require personal watercraft operators to operate their craft in a predictable manner, which will provide greater certainty to other waterway users on the path they intend to take,” Mr Toy said.
“The rule prohibits the ‘irregular riding’ of jet skis in five-knot speed restricted zones around Port Phillip, to address the risk of incidents involving jet skis and other beach users.”
Mr Toy said the new rules bring waters around Port Phillip Bay in line with other jurisdictions, such as New South Wales, and will simplify compliance activities.
“Maritime Safety Victoria is committed to ensuring that everyone, including boaters, jet skiers, fishers and swimmers, can enjoy a safe day on the water,” he said.