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‘Dangerous and reckless’ jet-skiers at Broughty Ferry beach an ‘accident waiting to happen’

jet-skiers Broughty Ferry
There are concerns for the safety of swimmers due to "reckless" jet-skiers at Broughty Ferry beach.

Frightened beach-goers have said jet-skiers travelling too close to swimmers are an “accident waiting to happen”.

Locals swimming at Broughty Ferry Beach said jet-skiers were “aggressive” and encroached on shallow water near the shore at the weekend.

The jet-skiers were reportedly coming within 20 to 30 feet of families and individuals swimming in the Broughty Ferry Beach water on Sunday afternoon.

Dr Rebecca Wade said she feared for the safety of those swimming in the water at the time, with a video showing two people on a jet-ski going close to swimmers.

Dr Wade said: “I am a huge supporter of shared use of green and blue spaces.

“We all have different ways to enjoy the outdoors but whether we are cyclists passing pedestrians or jet-skiers in the Tay, we should all be safe, courteous and respectful.”

Fionn Stevenson, a professor of sustainable design, was swimming at Broughty Ferry Beach with Dr Wade, along with a group of women who regularly go open water swimming, and said that they were outraged at the jet-skiers.

Jet skiers going inside the beach front post.

Professor Stevenson said: “There was a family in the water and the nearest a jet-ski got to them was probably 20 to 30 feet.

“It was just too close, way too close.

“People on the beach were frightened and angry and upset and we had a mother turn to us and say ‘why is this happening and what can we do to stop it?’

“I’ve been swimming since I was a kid and I have never seen such aggressive jet-skiing in all my life.

“I’ve been around jet-skis but this was really nasty and very, very dangerous.

“If they had lost control of the jet-ski, at all, it was just an accident waiting to happen and it basically ruined a really nice Sunday afternoon.

“It was the first time for ages seeing the beach so busy and people having such a wonderful time.

“I do think that Tayside Police should take it seriously because it’s similar to cars on the road, just with jet-skis in the water; the difference with cars on the road is that roads have a boundary but the problem with water is there’s no lines in the water to tell jet-skiers that they can’t go here.”

Concerns were raised last year about rule-breaking jet-skiers at Broughty Ferry and locals urged police to act.

In a survey by The Courier, 88% of people felt that the authorities need to do more to control jet-skiing at Broughty Ferry.

‘It didn’t look safe’

Another woman who was swimming with the group, solicitor Mary Morrissey, said she had safety concerns.

She said: “The beach was very busy; there were a lot of people on the beach and in the water.

“We were swimming and there were jet-skis going around during that period and some of them were passing quite close to the beach.

“It didn’t look safe to me.

“My understanding is that the port authority has given direction and that there is a 400-metre exclusion zone along the beach for jet-skis.

“Even further out than that they’re not supposed to do more than eight knots and that is about nine miles per hour so that’s really quite slow and they were all going well above that.”

jet-skiers Broughty Ferry
Jet-skiers at Broughty Ferry Beach.

Councillor Craig Duncan, who represents Broughty Ferry, said he fears the issue will get worse as more people stay in the UK for holidays.

“Regrettably, it’s an issue that seems to be growing and escalating over the last two or three years,” he said.

“It’s very difficult to physically enforce anything out in the water.

“I have been making the point for over a year now to the council, the police and anyone else that wants to listen that, because of Covid-19, there’s going to be a rise in so-called ‘stay-cations’.

“Broughty Ferry beach is likely to be as busy as the old photographs from the 1920s and therefore everybody, all the stakeholders and that’s Forth Ports, the police and the council, they really need to grasp this.

“It’s one thing to enjoy yourself but when it comes to reckless and dangerous behaviour, it’s quite another.

“The police have said that right now they are prepared to crack down on any reckless or dangerous behaviour if people can help identify them.”

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said: “We are aware of concerns and are providing suitable advice and support.”

Forth Ports Dundee has also been approached for comment.

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