It is more popular than ever to play on the water. Remember to show consideration for others when you are on the water. You must hold a power boat license and observe the regulations for preventing collisions at sea when a water scooter or using jet skis.
The regulations always apply to you as a user no matter whether you own or hire the water scooter/jet skis.
Six things to remember as a user
- You must have a power boat license.
- Do not operate within a 300-metre zone from the coast.
- A blood alcohol content of max. 0.5 promille.
- Life jackets or swim jackets must be available for everyone on board.
- The regulations for preventing collisions at sea apply also to water scooters.
- Observe local navigational regulations.
1: Requirement for a power boat license
A water scooter is a small, powerful and planing vessel that it requires competences to operate. That is why you must have a power boat license to operate a water scooter. You must be 16 years old to get a power boat license, and the license must be carried when at sea. See more about the power boat license.
2: Regulations for operation along the coast (the water scooter order)
As a general rule, it is prohibited to use water scooters/jet skis closer to the coast than 300 metres. Within the 300-metre zone, it is only permitted to use these vessels perpendicularly to the coast at a speed below 5 knots. It is prohibited to use water scooters/jet skis in nature reserves, conservation areas and wildlife reserves. It is prohibited to use water scooters/jet skis in nature reserves and local prohibition zones. Read more (in Danish) on the website of the Danish Environmental Protection Agency under the headline "On the sea".
3: Regulations on the blood alcohol content
A blood alcohol content of 0.5 promille applies in connection with the use of water scooters and jet skis.
4: Life jackets or swim jackets for everybody
A life jacket or swim jacket must be available for everybody on the water scooter. Read more about swim jackets and life jackets (in Danish).
5: Regulations for preventing collisions at sea
The regulations for preventing collisions at sea also apply to water scooters. This means, inter alia, that you must proceed at a "safe speed" in consideration of foreseeability and traffic density as well as rowers and swimmers.
You have a duty to give way to traffic from the starboard side and you have an unconditional duty to give way to sailboats and rowboats. If you have the duty to give way, you must do so in good time so that the other vessels can see that you are giving way. It is important to show consideration and good seamanship to other vessels and to observe one's duty to give way so as to avoid that a trip to sea ends in an accidents.
When the sun sets, a water scooter also has a duty to carry lights: Green to starboard, red to port side and white to the back. Read more about the regulations for preventing collisions at sea (in Danish).
6: Compliance with local navigational regulations
It is important to familiarize oneself with local navigational regulations. They are available from the website of the Danish police (in Danish) under each region. There can also be navigational regulations applicable to individual ports. In some areas, it is perhaps prohibited to operate a water scooter, such as in the Port of Copenhagen, and in some areas there are perhaps speed limitations. See the website of the Danish Port Pilot.
New regulations under way
• From 1 January 2018, the Danish Maritime Authority will introduce a water scooter license with special qualification requirements, which means inter alia that you must demonstrate at a practical test that you are capable of operating a water scooter in a safe manner.
• Together with the insurance sector, the possibilities are being examined for introducing mandatory liability insurance for water scooters. This will make it easy to hold somebody responsible and claim compensation, and it will make it easier to identify water scooters and their owners.
• Together with the Ministry of Justice, it is being examined whether it would be possible to confiscate water scooters in case of irresponsible operation. At the same time, the possibilities of suspending yachtsmen's certificates/operator's licenses will be considered, making it possible to intervene in case of insane operation.
You must be aware of this when buying or importing a water scooter
When buying a water scooter in Denmark or importing one from a country outside the EU, you must be aware of requirements for CE marking. Water scooters built in an EU country after 1 January 2006 must be CE-marked.
Water scooters that have been imported from a country outside the EU and taken into use or marketed for the first time in an EU country after 1 January 2006 must also be CE-marked.
You should familiarize yourself with especially the most important engine emission and noise requirements.