Following a recent fatal jetski accident in Porquerolles near St Tropez, French authorities are cracking down on tender and jetski operation in the South of France.
Captains can now be liable for any breaches of the law regarding operation of jetskis and tenders belonging to their vessel, even if he or she was not personally involved in the incident.
This means yachts operating in French waters need to be aware of penalties for speeding and reckless behaviour when crew or guests are operating tenders or jetskis to make them aware of the potential consequences.
The onus is on Captains to instruct their crew and guests as to the regulations they need to abide by when using tenders or jetskis, including informing guests and crew of the speed limits in different areas, as well as being fully aware of local regulations. French authorities recommend conducting a full briefing on how to safely operate tenders and jetskis before guests or crew make use of the craft.
If a guest or crew member 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 the following potential penalties:
· A fine of up to €30 000 maximum
· Up to six months imprisonment
· A ban from French Territory for at least 1 year
Already this summer local French authorities have issued fines of €1000 for speeding where yacht tenders have been found to be 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 jetski and tender use in the different areas they will be navigating, and to inform their guests and crew accordingly. The PDF below shows speed zones and other restrictions in and near Cannes.
For further information please don’t hesitate to contact our Yacht Management Division here.