Children on Jet Skis in Queensland


Fun First!
Hi everyone,

I'm sure you've all noticed the rules unfortunately differ from state to state. Unlike commercial operators we get legislated to suit the local customs and specific waterways. Most of us aren't ticketed Captains so don't have a full understanding of international maritime law.

So in Queensland we've been getting a few questions about what is and isn't OK with kids on Jet Skis.

Here's the latest info from MSQ to make it easier to grasp.

To begin with here is an extract from a Seadoo operator's manual as an example (they are all similar):

The operator and passenger(s) should be properly seated and have a firm grip on a handhold before starting the watercraft, and at all times when the watercraft is in motion. All passenger(s) should be instructed to use the handholds provided, or to hold on to the waist of the person in front of them.

Each passenger must be able to simultaneously place both feet firmly flat against each foot well when properly seated. When going over waves, passenger(s) may raise their body slightly off the seat to absorb the shocks with their legs.

So; a small child sitting in front cannot reach factory provided handlebars and could not possibly place both their feet in the foot wells either.

So in summary;

Q: Why can’t my child sit in front of me on my PWC?

A: All skippers have a General Safety Obligation (GSO)by law. You comply with your GSO by, at a minimum, operating in accordance with your PWC owner’s manual. Your owner’s manual requires passengers to hold on to the handholds provided or the person in front of them and place both feet firmly in the foot wells.



Fun First!
It would be disappointing to get to a stage similar to what has happened to motorbikes, below is a snapshot of those rules for Queensland.
Rules for carrying passengers on any motorcycle
  • All of your passengers must wear an approved motorcycle helmet securely fastened.
  • Pillion passengers must be at least 8 years old and their feet must be able to reach the passenger footrests while seated.
  • You must not carry more passengers on the motorcycle or in the motorcycle's sidecar than the vehicle was designed to carry.
  • Your passenger must be seated safely on the pillion seat or in the sidecar.
  • Your pillion passenger must not ride on the motorcycle unless the motorcycle has a suitable pillion seat and suitable passenger footrests.
  • Your pillion passenger must face forwards and sit with a leg on either side of the seat, but is allowed to move a leg off the footrests to stretch or raise themselves from the seat.
  • Your passenger must not interfere with your control of the motorcycle.