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Sunday, May 9, 2021

Coastguard warns jet skiers to stay away from Pearl shores

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pearl1

Amid ongoing complaints of noisy and rowdy jet skiers at the Pearl-Qatar, the Coast Guard has told watercraft operators to stay clear of private property and hotels on the shores of the man-made island.

For more than a year, residents have complained of large groups recklessly using the waterways around the island, blaring music and motoring dangerously close to beaches, swimmers and paddle-boarders.

Despite previous promises from the management to crack down on the issue, residents say problems remain.

Alex Miller lives in a Qanat Quartier apartment, which overlooks both the sea and the canal.

She told Doha News that she was regularly disturbed by jet skiers, who often travel in convoys and rev their engines under her balcony to encourage her two dogs to bark.

“I cannot explain what the noise is like – AND we had two last weekend at (6am)!

This behavior is not only extremely selfish but shows a complete disregard for the residents here,” she said.

Another Qatat Quartier resident, Marieke, said that when she signed the lease to her apartment three weeks ago, she was assured that jet skis and other motorized vehicles were banned from the surrounding waterways.

Nevertheless, she told Doha News that boats and jet skis are still using the canals, especially on the weekend.

“You hear them well before you see them – flashing lights and playing loud music. It is worse at the weekend, when they rev through the canals at all times of the day and, more annoyingly, very early morning and night.”

“The users of these motorized boats and vehicles have no respect for privacy and zero consideration for other users of the water,” she added.

Coast Guard crackdown

Now the Coast Guard appears to be stepping up its response, publishing a warning this week on the Ministry of Interior (MOI) website to all jet ski users.

Described as “tips and guidelines that must be adhered to”, the advisory says:

“Jet skis users should be vigilant not to enter restricted areas, and keep away from private property and hotels located on sea shores and not to harass other sea-goers.”

The Coast Guard’s latest statement follows promises made by Pearl-Qatar management UDC earlier this year to crack down on the anti-social behavior.

In April, a UDC spokesman said that following meetings with the MOI, the Coast Guard would regularly patrol the Pearl’s waterways, to seize the jet skis and take action against violators.

Two months later, the company said it would be taking a “zero tolerance” line on the issue, and had started installing barricades to prevent jet skiers from entering small canals and residential areas.

However, Viva Bahriya resident Patty Conrad said that while she and her neighbors had been given a temporary reprieve after a barrier was set up to block vehicles from accessing their inlet. However, it was broken down three weeks ago and has not been replaced.

“Now the jet skiers and load boats are back in force,” she told Doha News.

Jet ski advice

Writing in a recent post on blog site Kayakadoodledoo, local kayak and paddle board enthusiast Jenn Wicks records her own experience of being “buzzed” by a jet skier while she was swimming.

She also says that barriers installed in a bid to keep out jet skiers are ineffective, as many are broken down or jumped in a bid to access restricted waters.

Describing an incident at the end of August with a group of jet skiers, she writes:

“I counted 25 in one pack at the same time! The noise was deafening and the wake they created was significant, crashing against Nikki Beach in large waves.”

She makes a number of suggestions for improvements, including setting up an official jet ski club in a designated area to encourage more organized use of the motorized water vehicles, education programs to make people aware of the risks involved and greater enforcement of existing rules.

Dubai’s actions

Dubai jet ski

Following similar complaints in Dubai, the emirate’s Maritime City Authority introduced new rules last summer to restrict the use of jet skis.

These included establishing dedicated jet ski areas, demarcated by yellow buoys, and surrounding these with a 300 meter buffer zone to protect swimmers.

Rules also restrict the operation of jet skis to the hours between sunrise and sunset.

In January this year, the DCMA said it would regularly patrol the city’s coastline to ensure compliance.

Thoughts?

29 COMMENTS

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DB
DB
6 years ago

I’ve seen multiple paddleboarders and kayakers swamped–intentionally–by jet skiers while police boats lingered nearby. As with traffic laws, if there’s no actual enforcement there will be no improvement. For example, how many jet skis have they seized since they announced the policy in April?

Expat
Expat
6 years ago

Besides the bloated rents and cheap build quality, this is another reason making the Pearl an unattractive place to live!

DEEM
DEEM
6 years ago
Reply to  Expat

Actually, it’s a pretty nice place to live…. As good as anywhere else in Doha and better than most. And cheaper than west bay. I have a nice one bed apartment here that is the same price as a studio in Ezdan. And it’s a home… My furniture, not a hotel.

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago

All talk, no action. Nothing will change until they stop someone, fine them, confiscate their jet ski and publicize it. Well maybe first ask for an ID before taking any extreme measures like that.

Pete
Pete
6 years ago
Reply to  Jaded

Why worry about an ID? And I would hardly call those extreme measures.

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago
Reply to  Pete

It was supposed to be funny, well in my head it was

Pete
Pete
6 years ago
Reply to  Jaded

Sorry…I missed the irony.

Aussie expat
Aussie expat
6 years ago

The only jetski I have seen towed by the Coast Guard was when one broke down.

QatarExpat
QatarExpat
6 years ago

My family and I have been living this never ending nightmare for almost 2 years now in Qanat Quartier. These Jetskiers & Powerboaters have no respect with their selfish acts, revving their engines and music as early as 5am and as late as 2am almost on a daily basis! I’ve seen with my own eyes UDC security personnel in their national dress asking jetskis to leave, instead, they defy the poor guy and splash him with their jetskis. I’ve seen the same incident with a coast guard opposite Qanat Quartier beach. Talking sense into these people is useless, no other solution other than to hit back with an iron fist!

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago
Reply to  QatarExpat

Time for the coast guard to use live ammo.

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago

It’s a choice between making certain people to follow the same law as everyone else, and making reminding people why Doha is trailing cities like Dubai when it comes to attracting skilled workers.

I’ve started to believe Doha isn’t even trying anymore.

Enceladus
Enceladus
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael Fryer

Doha can’t trail Dubai or any other city because they don’t know what kind of city/country they want to be. That’s the sad truth in my opinion. Apart from this comment, I totally agree.

Osman Bey
Osman Bey
6 years ago

As a victim of the Jetski anarchy in Qanat Quartier both in the canals and on the beach I would like to comment as well. Whenever these shark-minded skiers smell a lady on the beach, they do their utmost to attract attention even if that means driving straight to the shore, a friend of mine was snorkeling and barely escaped a serious accident recently. A permanent Coast guard presence with serious penalties ( as in normal traffic fines ) and serious barriers under the bridges will prevent their activities. or should we just get access to RPG’s ?

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  Osman Bey

Don’t hold your breath, look at how they police traffic violations…

MrJames
MrJames
6 years ago

I wouldn’t want to tar everyone with the same brush, but unlike other water users, jet skiers do seem a bit of a menace the world over, whereas other water users seem to be able to strike a balance.

I’ll give you an example: Maui, Hawaii. There’s an unspoken rule called ‘the 11 0’Clock Rule’. Basically, Surfers get out before 11, Windsurfers and Kitesurfers after 11. It suits both, as there’s generally no wind in the AM for the windsurfers, and once the wind kicks in after 12, the wave is too mushy for the surfers anyway.

At my home break, it’s a classic ‘point break’, surfers go out to the right, windsurfers an kiters to the left.

It seems like half the point of Jetski’s is that it’s a narcissistic thing, and they’re only happy if people can see/hear them.

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago

As if….like the traffic police police traffic, the coast guard will do as much as a sloth on his birthday…

٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶
٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶
6 years ago

I’m hearing noise pollution, harassment, antisocial behavior and intimidation, have any of the residents tried calling the police? If so what was the outcome? I would be interested to hear.

DEEM
DEEM
6 years ago

Oh yeah… We have a hotline number to call…. Which we do, every day, and occasionally a coast guard launch will trundle round the canals… Sees nothing… And leaves. Ten minutes later, they are worse than ever. And that’s the problem… If they are challenged, by security personnel, the police or the public, they just retaliate ten fold. I seriously thought about cheese wire under the bridges and a snipers rifle from my perfectly situated first floor balcony. They don’t care about fines… They got the money… They don’t care if the machine is confiscated… They have another at home. The answer is short sharp shock… Unwavering, no exceptions and rigidly enforced.

It’s a problem the world over… 18 to 24 year old men, with money, and ANYTHING with a powerful engine. Result: hooligans. But in the rest of the world, there are penalties.

I think anyone caught should face two years in the army. No exceptions.

٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶
٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶
6 years ago
Reply to  DEEM

Has it been determined if these individuals are breaking any laws? I assume the canals are deemed private property, what about trespassing?

It’s a horrible situation and no one should have to pay (rent) to put up with this anti-social behavior.

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago

Hahaha good one , call the police, ok,yeah right. I called them last week because some moron let a shotgun go in my street. Got chastised, because I didn’t actually see it only heard it. Don’t call unless you see was the chastisement. I explained that what if someone was shot and they needed to establish a time of death/injury to discount an alibi given by a suspect etc. Or someone was shot and needed medical help. They looked at me as if I was mad. 24 years policing most of it in criminal investigation and Homicide in Australia police, developing police services in Pacific nations and training with the UN, and never came across such an incompetent couple of police, with such a bad attitude. So moral is I suppose unless you see the jetski , not just hear them, don’t call the Shurtha. I have a feeling the police here are only for the 300,000, locals , and stuff the rest of us. Suppose I should be happy I wasn’t locked up for wasting police time!

٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶
٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶
6 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

Hmmm yeah that’s not great. I assume there is no Police complaints commission here? 🙂

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago

Wouldn’t dare complain, who knows where that could lead..Doha Hilton perhaps, and not the lovely one up there near the Ritz Carlton?

٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶
٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶
6 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

Perhaps a stern letter to your local MP….?

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago

hahahahaha….nice one.

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago

Can you also please get the jetskiers something for their coffee that will stop them harassing western girls on dhow trips as if they were dogs on heat?

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  The Reporter

Western girls fault for wearing comfortable clothes!

Rob
Rob
6 years ago

Shoot the @rseholes.

Q reader
Q reader
6 years ago

You should trace back the jet-sky’ers. Where do they park their cars and moor their machines?

Also, who is selling them the ski’s – is it the same group connected with UDC ?

Jimarchy
Jimarchy
6 years ago
Reply to  Q reader

A lot of them are very rich locals who drive expensive luxury sports cars. You should see them launching from the Ritz Carlton on an evening… They are not all bad but like all sports some idots spoil it for everyone. I had a jetski and followed the rules of the sea, most do not.

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