Jet skis are agile, powerful vehicles that skip across the water at high speeds – can they explode?
It’s a more common problem than you might think: jet skis can definitely explode, and they do. They’re powered by an internal combustion engine, and you have mixtures of fuel, heat, electricity, and fumes. There are numerous circumstances that can result in a jet ski exploding.
Read on to learn more about the dangers of an exhilarating jet ski ride.
Explosion on the Ocean
It’s not an uncommon thing to see in the news all around the world. As with any other motor vehicle or seacraft, a jet ski has the potential to explode.
There are numerous ways this can occur, but some are way more prevalent than others. The most common is a build-up of engine fumes in the hull that is ignited by a spark.
The end result is almost always a fire, or more commonly, a considerably large explosion. There are multiple similarities between a jet ski and a motorcycle when it comes to potentially fatal circumstances.
Reportedly, jet ski explosions occur more often when the vessel is idle, and not moving. Jet skis have a ‘blower assembly’ that exhausts the built-up combustion fumes.
If the blower assembly isn’t given the chance to function correctly, it will explode. This can be caused by a submerged outlet or a malfunctioning engine.
It’s one of the reasons there are considerably strict regulations surrounding jet ski ownership. More often than not, a jet ski must be licensed, insured, and subject to regular maintenance.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t guarantee there will be no issues with your jet ski.
In July of 2019, a jet ski exploded in Montana, injuring two people. The cause was determined to be a build-up of fumes that was ignited by a starter spark.
The riders had failed to start the engine multiple times but kept on trying. The repeat instances of engagement flooded the engine with deadly and explosive fumes.
There was another incident in 2019, this time in Hawkesbury, Australia. The owner of a jet ski was refueling his machine when it spontaneously exploded.
He suffered severe burns and was placed in an induced coma, being airlifted to a nearby hospital. It’s not known what caused the issue, a fact which is all too often seen with jet ski explosions.
This is usually caused by the jet ski being totally decimated by the explosion or fire. If it’s not immediately obvious what caused the explosion, investigators may never determine the fault.
Tragically, a fatal incident occurred in Salem, Massachusetts, in October of 2020. On a lake, a rider lost control of his jet ski and collided with two children, killing one and critically injuring the other.
This is an example of a jet ski having no fault but causing massive damage. The rider wasn’t immediately found to be at fault and wasn’t under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
When you break it down to the basics, a jet ski is a very dangerous machine. It’s a powerful engine, driven by fuel, surrounded by a plastic shell.
And the rider sits on top of that shell.
They can be extremely expensive investments, often costing more than a substantial car. According to an article from jeftdrift.com, around thirty-percent of all boating accidents involve jet skis.
It’s a costly loss when they spontaneously explode.
Of course, it isn’t just the potential for an explosion that contributes towards the high risk. There are plenty of records of injury being caused by reckless riding, high speed, inexperienced riders, or dangerous weather.
As we’ve said already, a jet ski is very similar to a motorcycle. You need to ride it responsibly and use the correct safety equipment or risk the consequences.
The New York Times reported an incident in 2020, where two people were killed in a jet ski crash. This is a common occurrence, with the small vessels being piloted by friends, who often challenge each other.
When it comes to high-powered jet skis, the majority of them top out at around sixty-seven miles-per-hour. If you crash at that speed, there’s nothing protecting you except what you’re wearing.
In rental stations for jet skis across America, you often won’t be allowed to leave without protective equipment. They’re fully aware of the dangers of their vehicles.
It’s definitely worth considering the risk before you climb aboard a powerful jet ski.