A fatal Jet Ski accident left one child dead and another injured. The boat accident happened on the Anderson Ranch Reservoir after two jet skis collided on Saturday evening. One child was dead at the scene, while another was flown to a hospital in Boise. Another child was involved but was not hurt. The cause of the boat accident is still under investigation.
Jet Skis fall under the Coast Guard designation of personal watercraft, and have been responsible for an alarming number of fatalities since their introduction in the late 1960’s. According to a report published by the U.S. Coast Guard, in 2014 alone personal watercraft were responsible for 34 total deaths. The National Transportation Safety Board conducted a general investigation of the recreational boating accident reporting system in 1998 and according to its findings, the report concluded that accidents on Jet Skis can be attributed to three main factors. Inattention, inexperience, and inappropriate speed for the operating conditions. According the NTSB report, over 90 percent of accidents were caused by operator error (inattention) and there is also a 25 percent higher rate for accidents in association with rental operators, but this might be a case of a higher percentage of rental operators.
The 2005 Personal Watercraft act defines reckless or careless driving as:
1) Becoming airborne or completely leaving the water while crossing the wake of another vessel within 100 feet of the vessel creating the wake or wake jumping.
2) Weaving through congested water traffic.
3) Operating a vessel at greater than slow/no wake speak within 100 feet of an anchored or moored vessel, shoveling, dick, pier, boat ramp, marina, swim float, marked swim area, person n the water, person engaged in angling, or any other manually propelled vessel.
4) Operating contrary to the “Rules of the Road” or following too close to another vessel, including another personal watercraft.