Which Part Of PWC Is Dangerous To Your Hand, Feet, And Hair?

Statistics indicate that in 2018, USCG recorded 634 injuries caused by PWC, 196 victims being children.

Such unfortunate incidents require serious caution to ensure safety while operating a jet ski.

A boat safety course enlightens you on which part of PWC is dangerous to your hand,  feet, and hair as follows:

Which Part Of PWC Is Dangerous To Your Hand, Feet, And Hair?

A jet ski is safest at rest, but its pump intake area and the steering nozzle are riskiest whenever the engine runs. Pressurized water around these regions is dangerous and can cause severe injuries to a boater’s body.

See what happens around these two areas:

The Pump Intake Area

A personal watercraft, whether a sea-doo or a jet ski, is powered by an internal impeller. Water enters the vessel through a pump intake to rotate the internal impeller.

A pump intake lies on the boat’s belly (the lower side of the vessel).

A PWC’s pump intake has excellent suction capacity to draw water. Unfortunately, a pump intake gets clogged up by garbage and debris in seawater, hence requiring constant cleaning.

To avoid deadly accidents, turn off the engine before cleaning the pump intake area.

The pump is strong enough to pull your hand or feet when the throttle is ignited and causes severe bruises and broken limbs.

You should also tie up your long hair when working around the pump intake area; failure to which the robust intake will use its suction power to suck your hair, trap it under the watercraft, or, worse still, remove it from the scalp.

In worst cases, a boater can be trapped underneath the Jet Ski and suffer unconsciousness or death.

The Steering Nozzle

The steering nozzle (the stern) sits at the back of the vessel.

Water gets into a PWC’s internal impeller through the pump intake and leaves it through the steering nozzle.

Water enters the boat and leaves through the steering nozzle under extremely high pressure.

The direction the nozzle faces is critical since the pressurized water causes severe internal injuries if it lands on a human body and can cause nearby vessels to capsize.

In  2001,  a woman (who was skiing with her friend) lost her grip,  fell off the boat and suffered fatal internal injuries. 

The steering control determines the direction of the steering nozzle. The steering control relies on a boat’s engine power to maneuver.

Allow ample time before stopping the engine to ensure the steering control faces the intended direction to avoid unnecessary accidents.

Letting off the throttle puts off the engine and makes the vessel lose its steering control.

If you stop the engine, the steering control will retain the position it held when the engine is still running.

Safety Practices You Should Consider When Operating A PWC

All passengers on a PWC should wear a personal flotation device (PFD) to keep them afloat should they fall off the boat.

No passenger should sit in front of a boat captain. You should sit behind the captain and hold onto them tightly, putting your hands firmly on the handholds.

Follow the day’s weather forecast and avoid bad weather conditions.

Turn off the engine power while unclogging the intake; otherwise, you’ll fall victim to strong suction power.

Keep your feet and hands away from the pump intake, and wrap your hair to avoid accidents. The pump area has high suction power, which can pull your hand or feet into the vessel resulting in severe injuries.

All passengers should hold the handholds tightly and place their feet on the footrests.

Children are discouraged from boarding a jet ski or a sea door for safety.

All boaters aboard a PWC should wear a wet suit or equivalent protective gear to keep them safe from pressurized water exiting the steering nozzle.

A boat captain should observe the passenger limit as indicated on the capacity plate of the PWC.

It’s important if all boaters undergo a boat safety course before they operate a PWC.

Learn how to navigate different water terrains.


What Is the Most Important Thing To Remember About Steering PWC-And Other Jet-Drive Vessels?

Remember that the steering control requires power; therefore, you should keep the engine running until your vessel reaches the desired destination.

If you switch off the engine, the steering loses control, and the vessel continues in the direction it was moving before the engine went off.

If the engine fails while en route, you can use the reverse cowling option though it can be a problematic practice.

Mechanical failure and fuel depletion are the major causes of engine failure.

What Is Needed For A Steering Control On A PWC?

It’s important if you have sufficient power to control your PWC steering. Steering control power is generated by fast-moving water.

A boat’s engine sucks water through the pump intake area. Pressurized water leaves the vessel through the steering nozzle.

What Happens When A PWC Steering Control Is Turned To The Right?

Jet drives move by thrust force. Water enters the boat through the pump intake area and leaves through the rear part (the steering nozzle).

The steering control and the steering nozzle move in tandem. If the steering control turns right, the nozzle rotates right.

Pressurized water leaving the steering nozzle makes the stern move, and thrust turns the PWC to the right.

Therefore, if the steering control moves to the right, the back of the vessel (the stern) turns left, and the PWC moves to the right side.

Final Thoughts

The steering nozzle alongside the pump intake is a vital yet dangerous part of personal watercraft.

Seating close to these parts exposes you to possible injuries such as broken limbs, unconsciousness, and trapped hair.

Boaters should keep off these parts when the engine is running.

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