Following a fatal jet ski accident, which took place in Porquerelles near St Tropez in July this year, the French authorities are exercising more vigilance with regards to tender and jet ski operations in the South of France. According to local reports, the victim was ejected from the jet ski, on which she was traveling with a companion, after being hit by a big wave.

Image courtesy of Superyacht Tenders and Toys.

The new regulations, which are highlighted by Camper and Nicholsons in a recent news feed, reveal that captains can now be liable for any breaches of the law regarding operation of jet skis and tenders belonging to their vessel, even if he or she was not personally involved in the incident. As a result, it is of utmost importance that superyachts cruising in the area need to be aware of speeding limits and control reckless behaviour when crew or guests are operating tenders or jet skis.

“The onus is on captains to instruct their crew and guests as to the regulations they need to abide by when using tenders or jet skis, including informing guests and crew of the speed limits in different areas, as well as being fully aware of local regulations,” Camper and Nicholsons explains. “French authorities recommend conducting a full briefing on how to safely operate tenders and jet skis before guests or crew make use of the craft.”

Allegedly, if a guest or crewmember is caught speeding or involved in an accident, local authorities will record the details of the yacht from which the tender was launched and can prosecute the captain. If prosecuted this would involve a court hearing with potential penalties that include a fine of up to 30,000 euros, up to six months imprisonment and a ban from French territory for at least one year.

The Crew Repor
t has received confirmation from one crewmember, wishing to remain anonymous, who was cautioned by the local authorities after driving a tender marginally above the speed limit in Antibes and Camper and Nicholsons report that 1000 euros worth of fines have been issued for speeding where yacht tenders have been found operating outside of the legal parameters. In these instances the captain’s details have been recorded and formal warnings have been issued. If a second similar incident is logged against a particular yacht, the captain will be banned from navigating in French waters.

“Captains are therefore strongly encouraged to be carefully informed of the regulations relating to jet ski and tender use in the different areas they will be navigation, and to inform their guests and crew accordingly,” advises the Camper and Nicholsons report, which can be read in full here.