The man was riding on the water scooter with a young boy on the back. It is reported that the man was driving the water scooter aggressively around a pontoon boat. Both the man and the boy were thrown off of the water scooter and into the river; the young boy, however, was pulled to safety on board a pontoon boat. The driver remained in the water, lost his unfastened life vest and then disappeared under the water. Rescue units appeared on the scene Sunday evening to search for the missing man. The search went on for three days until the man’s body was found Wednesday morning 2 ½ miles away from where he fell off of the water scooter. The cause and manner of the man’s death has not been released.
Water scooters have been involved in 20 percent of all reported boat injuries yet only make up 8% of registered boats in Pennsylvania according to a report from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. Water scooters can reach speeds of up to 70 mph. If a driver is moving at high speeds and hits a wave or has to make a sharp turn, capsizing is almost always a result.
Falling off of water scooters at such speed can result in serious injuries. If a rider falls off of the back of a water scooter, they can land directly in the path of the water scooter’s high-pressure jet. Riders are encouraged to be properly dressed in wet suites to prevent serious, disabling injuries.
It is required that Pennsylvania water scooter operators have a Boating Safety Education Certificate that has been obtained through a commission-approved course. Riders must always wear a life vest and follow the same rules and regulations as other boaters.
If you or a loved one have been injured on a water scooter, contact a personal injury attorney to see what your rights are.
Post-Gazette.com, “Body found in Allegheny River identified as missing jet skier”
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, Pennsylvania Boating Handbook