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June 18, 2014

Emergency Regulations for New Jetpack Vessels to take Effect

by kking
Jetpack demonstration at Sandy Point State Park

Jetpack demonstration at Sandy Point State Park

DNR has submitted a formal request to the Maryland Administrative Executive and Legislative Review to establish emergency regulations to cover a new category of recreational vessel, the jetpack.

Usually worn on the back, feet or ridden, these devices use water jets to lift a rider as much as 30 feet above the water. These thrill rides can pose as a danger to both riders and bystanders. In certain instances they can also cause environmental and property damage, and pose a disruption to other boaters. So far, Florida, Texas, Arizona, Hawaii and West Coast states have laws regulating jetpack use.

In Maryland there are three businesses, all located in Ocean City, which rent a different version of these packs. The operators all agree jetpacks should be regulated, and have spent the past year working with DNR to develop the emergency regulations.

During the 180-day emergency regulation period, to begin this month, DNR’s Boating Services and Natural Resources Police will examine how the temporary rules affect the general public and boating operations. Depending on the results, DNR may hold a public hearing in January 2015 to possibly enact permanent regulations. To view the emergency regulations, visit dnr.maryland.gov/boating/regulations/regs.asp. Questions can be directed to Boating’s Mike Grant at 410-260-8013.

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