The Complete Guide to Jet Ski rules and Regulations (2023 update)

The Complete Guide to Jet Ski rules and Regulations (2023 update)

What are the 2023 updates to jet ski rules and regulations?

The boom in watercraft use during the COVID pandemic caused a surge in the dangerous misuse of jet skis, and the government is acting accordingly through increased regulation.

As of 31 March 2023, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency will gain more powers to prosecute individuals who cause accidents by reckless misuse of watercraft to ensure the UK’s waters remain some of the safest in the world.

Since watercraft are not currently covered by maritime safety legislation, this move demonstrates the government are cracking down on this behaviour and holding those who cause accidents responsible.

The new law means that individuals charged with using their jet ski or watercraft dangerously could receive an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.

If an accident causes loss of life, perpetrators could receive tighter prosecution alongside wider manslaughter charges.

You should revisit the COLREGs to avoid using your watercraft in a dangerous manner ahead of the new law coming into effect this summer. Always check the individual rules of any waterways you use, too.

If you’re in an emergency on the coast, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. In an emergency at sea send a Mayday distress alert on Channel 16, or call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

Maritime and Coastguard Agency headquarters
Phone: 0203 817 2000