Published: 16:46, 22 July 2020
| Updated: 16:48, 22 July 2020
Calls to ban jet-skiers from towing people on rubber rings are being led by the mother of a young man killed following a crash with one of the machines.
Jordon Lupton was being pulled along in an inflatable behind a watercraft driven by his best friend when it collided with another jet ski off the Herne Bay coast.
The 25-year-old plumber died after suffering serious chest injuries, including 10 broken ribs, in the crash.
Three years on, Canterbury City Council has launched a consultation asking for residents’ opinions on plans to require jet-skiers to pay a membership fee before entering the sea in Herne Bay and Whitstable.
But Jordan’s mother, Therese Lupton, believes stricter measures should also be introduced.
“My son was on a ring being towed by another jet ski, and that’s got no control when it’s on a piece of rope,” she explained.
“I’m not trying to spoil anyone’s fun; I just think they need to sort it out so nothing like this happens again.
“I’m not saying that would have made a difference to my son and I know accidents happen, but we should learn from the accidents.”
Under the proposals put forward by the local authority, riders will also have to secure a personal watercraft proficiency qualification following a one-day course costing £160.
In addition, the council is hoping to ban the removal of silencers from jet skis, force riders to show ID and their insurance details prior to launching, and to prevent children under 16 from using the machines.
This came after the authority placed several concrete blocks around the entry ramp in Hampton in the wake of dozens of complaints about reckless riders.
“I live in Queensbridge Drive and I can hear the jet skis – it’s horrendous,” Ms Lupton said.
“I’m really happy about the proposals. It needs monitoring because otherwise something else will happen, and I’d hate for that to happen.
"I think the changes are overdue, but I understand it takes a long while for these things to happen.”
When the plans were first mooted, jet-skier Carole Butt argued a paid-for scheme would be unfair.
But speaking this week, the 55-year-old said: “It’s a step in the right direction.
“There are certain things that we may need to negotiate.”
If given the green light, the scheme would sit alongside new by-laws reducing the width of transit lanes and imposing stricter speed limits.
It is hoped this would push the noisier activity 300m away from the district’s shoreline.
The results of the survey will be considered by a cross-party group of councillors before a decision is taken by committee on how to proceed.
Council spokesman Leo Whitlock said: “We want as many people as possible to give their views as part of this consultation - more than 220 people have had their say so far.”
The consultation will run until August 30. To take part, click here.