Be Careful With Those Jetpacks, Everyone

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Photo via Relentless Watersports
Photo via Relentless Watersports

Our very own Robert O’Brien has been detailing the increasingly silly regulations that are popping up in Ocean City–no swearing, no laser pointers, etc. But increased regulation of jet packs? That actually does sound like a good idea.


In case you haven’t already been shot 30 feet into the air using one of these water jet pack things already, here’s how they work: You go out into the middle of the ocean where you’re tethered to a small boat. Then you use the hand throttles on your jet pack to rocket yourself into the air with a stream of water. Most jet packs max out at speeds of 25 miles per hour and a height of 30 feet. Rides cost a couple hundred dollars on average.

This is a brand new activity, and the jury’s still out on whether it’s unsafe and/or environmentally damaging. My personal bet is, yes to both of those questions. They’re also annoying: “People get upset because the jet packs spray salt water all over the place and get [the water] on people’s boats,” s Sgt. John Hollenbeck of the Orange County Sheriff’s Harbor Patrol told the Washington Post. “I see people make face-plants [into the water] all the time.”

As a result of complaints, Maryland put together some short-term regulations for jet pack operators, including limits on how high riders can fly (10 feet), and how close they can be to other objects/boats/people (100 feet).

Predictably, jet pack operators are bummed by the new rules. “In Ocean City, its been a long time since we’ve had something new, fun and different,” Ocean City Jetovator owner Sean Crosariol told WJZ.



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