Bill would boost age to operate jet skis

NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

The minimum age to operate a personal watercraft, such as a jet ski, in most Florida waters would increase from 14 to 16 under a proposal (SB 644) filed Monday for the 2016 legislative session by Sen. Jeremy Ring, D-Margate.

The age change would make it unlawful for owners of personal watercraft to allow the machines to be operated by youths younger than 16.

The fine for allowing an underage operator would remain the same, a $50 civil penalty.

The bill, filed a little more than three months after two 14-year-old boys from the northern Palm Beach County village of Tequesta vanished at sea after motoring out the Jupiter Inlet in a 19-foot SeaCraft, does not address the age of boat operators.

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