What happens if you flip over a Jet Ski?

by | Mar 30, 2022 | PWC, Safety

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What happens if you flip over a Jet Ski ?

It should always be a great experience when you ride a jet ski. However, not every personal watercraft (PWC) ride goes exactly the same way, with beautiful blue skies and perfect water conditions. You should always be careful and operate with safety in mind. New riders commonly wonder what happens if the personal watercraft (PWC) turns upside down while they are riding. It can happen to anyone from first time riders to experienced professionals. The best way to stay calm and focused on having fun is to be properly informed and prepared in advance.


How easy do Jet Skis flip over ?

For starters personal watercraft (PWC) weigh a lot. Depending on the make, model and features, personal watercraft (PWC) can typically weigh between 350 pounds (~159 kg) and 1,200 pounds (~544 kg). They are designed to stay up right. Modern personal watercraft (PWC) are often difficult  to flip over when operated accordingly. It is very important to pay close attention to the limits of a personal watercraft (PWC) before operating it. When there are too many people or the weight limit is exceeded, a personal watercraft (PWC) is not going to operate as designed. Under these conditions a personal watercraft (PWC) may feel more likely to flip over. Smaller categories of personal watercraft such as Rec-Lite are more playful and agile. 


What should you do if the Jet Ski flips over ?

The first (1st) thing you should do if your personal watercraft (PWC) flips over is to turn off the engine. Personal watercraft (PWC) with properly secured lanyard keys will disconnect automatically if you are too far away. Pull on the lanyard or remove the key by hand to ensure the engine is off before you do anything else. 

Second (2nd) you should go to the back/rear of the personal watercraft (PWC). Identify the visual sticker with instructions to turn the craft right side up. Follow the direction shown on these instructions to rotate the personal watercraft (PWC) right side up. It is best that this is performed correctly and quickly! Rotating the personal watercraft (PWC) in the wrong direction can allow water to enter the engine compartment. This would be bad for the engine and safe operation of the personal watercraft (PWC). The longer a personal watercraft (PWC) is upside down, or capsized, the more water will enter and be at risk of entering the engine. 

The third (3rd) thing to do is get on the personal watercraft (PWC) from the back. Some models are equipped with a foot pedal to make this easier. 

The fourth (4th) and ideally final step is to test the engine. Attempt to start the engine, if the engine starts up fine it may be safely operated like normal. If the engine does not crank, do not keep trying. In this case, get towed to a safe location. 

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