If you grew up relatively close to the sea, then, like me, you too are probably also hooked on watersports.
If you are not a watersports fan, then you have probably also seen videos on social media of jet skis darting around like AWOL torpedos as their riders skim over the water.
I am a massive fan of jet skis. I once tried to ride a jet-ski from Shoeburyness (Essex) to Jersey to raise money for the RNLI.
The trip was all pre-planned, and me and my fellow fundraisers practised for around six months before heading off on our voyage (circa Sept 2002).
Despite our best efforts, we only made it to Brighton after around 12-hours of non-stop (other than for refuelling) ‘riding’. Our jet-ski ended up sucking up some tow-rope, and thus we were put out of action.
It was exhilarating but knackering!
But when I saw the Essex Police Marine Unit on Twitter (@EPMarine) share a video of around 14 jet-skiers darting around only yards from where kids were playing in the surf on the beach, then I slapped my palm right across my forehead.
Personally, I have never seen the point of just doing doughnuts on flat calm water.
I would much rather head off-shore during some inclement weather (as I used to do) to enjoy the real ‘buzz’ of the sea and the real exhilaration of being on a jet ski.
I am relatively sure that local byelaws (Southend) dictate that you are only allowed to operate your personal watercraft at least 1/4 mile off-shore!?
But this did not stop these water sports enthusiasts from trying to ‘out do’ each other in front on less-than-impressed spectators on the beach.
Two of the jet-skies ended up colliding, even though Southend Coastguard had been to the area to advise the riders about their conduct.
In a post shared on their Facebook page, a spokesperson for Southend Coastguard said:
“No sooner had HM Coastguard Southend team returned to station after incident 2 of the day and back to their families when Dover Coastguard requested the assistance of Southend to attend reports of a Jet Ski collision opposite the HM Coastguard station where some approx 40 Jet Ski’s were on the water.
“Arriving on scene it turns out that in the collision one Jet Ski was holed within its hull and the other had minimal damage.
“Both parties exchanged details for insurance purposes, with the owner of the holed Jet Ski having left the scene before Coastguards arrived while the remaining owner was spoken to by the Southend crew and provided with safety advice.
“Should you see anyone in trouble on or near the coast, don’t hesitate to dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard, you could save someone’s life”.
Thankfully, nobody was injured during the shenanigans.