Call for ban on jet skis

SWIMMERS are calling for a ban on the use of jet skis near Clevedon’s beach after raising grave concerns about the speed the machines are ridden at.

Many of the swimmers who regularly brave the water near the town, as well as some residents, have begun lobbying for action to be taken to prevent jet skis launching from the beach slipway at high speed.

They hope the crafts will be banned from use near the popular swimming area or a permit scheme will be introduced to ensure jet ski riders have insurance and know the safe places to go.

Richard Hamilton-James of Wellington Terrace regularly swims in the water off Clevedon’s beach.

He said: “For a long time, my wife and I have been concerned about the safety issues, noise and smell pollution caused by jet skis at Clevedon pier beach.

“It has grown in popularity as a recreational beach for families and even as late in the season as October 1-2 there were 28 swimmers and a large number of families picnicking on the beach.

“All we want is to enable Clevedon to maintain it’s unique charm, so that those who wish to sail, fish and swim can do so safely and that those who wish to use jet skis may do so responsibly in an area of sea so designated.”

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Mr Hamilton-James has been joined by more than 25 other swimmers and concerned residents to lobby for the regulation of jet skis in Clevedon.

Another regular swimmer in the town, Brian Austin, said: “Some jet skis go off from the beach very fast.

“When it is travelling 25-30mph the rider has not got much time to spot someone in the water.

Mr Hamilton-James has contacted North Somerset Council’s seafront manager, Darren Fairchild, to raise the issue and it wil be discussed at the next meeting of the multi-agency North Somerset Water Safety Committee on November 22.

However, Mr Fairchild has said he is not sure Clevedon’s slipway is used enough to warrant a permit scheme being introduced.

The Water Safety Committee is made up of representatives from organisations including North Somerset Council, the Sea Cadets, Portishead Cruising Club, Clevedon’s MARLENS, Knightstone Harbour Association and the Bristol Port Authority.

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