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Southampton Bay Constable: Jet Ski Use at a Low, Economy to Blame

Chris Kohnken says he has seen fewer jet skis in area waters this season.

Southampton Town Senior Bay Constable Chris Kohnken says his department has seen little action this summer when it comes to jet skis.  He believes the economy is to blame. 

"I would say jet ski use is relatively low this year compared to other years," he said. "It seems they are in decline."

In general, Kohnken said, he thinks the reason is solely the economy.

"I have a funny feeling that the impact of gas and the cost of a new ski has settled in," he said.

However, others, who enjoy the bay, have stated that while there may not be as many jet skis on the water, they are still a nuisance. 

One Patch reader, commenting on a recent article in which two jet skiers were rescued from the , said that jet skis should be outlawed in area bays.

 wrote, "They're dangerous to everyone who visits or uses our bays. They 'fly' by at lightening speeds, scaring boaters, kayaks, and swimmers driven by young people who are not mature enough to respect their own safety or the safety of others."

 agreed. She wrote, "The little beach I love is no more. Once a home to piping plovers, the jet skis have taken it over. The operators ride backwards at fast speeds, huge wakes, often seen drinking beer too. Very reckless ..."

Kohnken said his office has not received many calls regarding reckless jet skiers and indicated that the constables regard jet skies just as they do any other vessel on the water. 

"They have to follow the same rules," said Kohnken, indicating that one important tip jet ski users should follow is to stay aware of their surroundings. "Too many people have their blinders on. Another vessel can overtake them. If you see another vessel, veer out of the way."

Kohnken said aside from the overturned jet ski on Monday, constables have not been dispatched to any other ski accident. 

"We've had a couple and some lacerations and stuff like that, but knock on wood, it has been a fairly quite year disaster wise."

Do you think jet skis should be allowed in the bays?

lifesaver July 20, 2012 at 01:44 PM
They are loud annoying and dangerous. They should be banned. People who ride these things ride like motorcycle riders, Rude and inconsiderate of others around them.

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