Teenagers using watersports vehicles putting selves, vacationers at risk in Turkish resort Bodrum
MUĞLA – Doğan News AgencyChildren and teenagers using watersports vehicles in the Turkish resort Bodrum are endangering themselves and vacationers, the head of a watersports association in the district has said.
Bodrum Lifeguard and Water Sports Association Head Arif Yılmaz has urged vacationers and parents to be extra careful about jet-skies, speedboats and other watersports vehicles used by children.
Such vehicles, which can operate on horsepower up to 70, are mostly seen in Bodrum’s Göltürkbükü, Yalıkavak, Gümbet, Turgutreis, Ortakent and Yahşi bays. But because many users are inexperienced they often put lives at risk.
Yılmaz said teenagers between the ages of 14 and 16 can get an amateur sailor’s license upon permission from their parents or guardians, according to Turkish law.
“This license only applies to very slow moving boats. But we now see children using speed boats that they cannot manage. It is inconvenient for children at those ages to use these speed boats. Parents are putting at risk both their children’s lives and the lives of others,” he added.
Local yachtsman Ali Can Çağlayan, 30, also criticized other yachtsmen for allowing children to use watersports vehicles so recklessly.
“In recent days I saw a speedboat being used by a 7-year-old child off the Göltürkbükü bay. Do the people who allow this not realize it is dangerous? They are putting their own children’s lives and the lives of others in danger. If I had not been able to maneuver out of the way, he would have come and hit me,” Çağlayan said.
Enver Kantarmış who has been a yachtsman for 17 years and is a member of the board of Bodrum’s Lifeguard and Water Sports Association, said over 4,000 water vehicles entered Bodrum’s bays during the summer months.
“No one touches the private yachts of foreign countries, especially the U.S.-flagged ones. They are not being inspected. But jet-skis and zodiac boats delivered from these yachts to the children are like killing machines. Even fatal accidents happen, as we have witnessed for many years,” Kantarmış said.