PRINCETON-BY-THE-SEA (KCBS) – San Mateo County officials may be close to doing away with a controversial ban on jet skis at the Mavericks surfing spot.

For 17 years jet skis have been banned in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

However, in 2009, the feds allowed jet skis at Mavericks during the surf contest, and on dangerous surf days. Now, big wave surfers want to see those restrictions lifted on a regular basis.

Surf pioneer Jeff Clark said that the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department is proposing taking over water rescues, using volunteers as life guards on jet skis. That means that under the sheriff’s department, the ban wouldn’t apply.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

“The ocean out here is so violent,” said Clark. “The situations where we have jet skis and personal watercraft in the water are those of the biggest swells, the most dangerous conditions. When people are surfing Mavericks the value of human life is first and foremost.”

Mary Jane Schramm, spokeswoman for the Gulf of the Farallones, which manages the Monterey Sanctuary, said that they’re not concerned about pollution from the jet skis, they’re worried about the impact on wildlife when jet skis are driven through rafts of otters. The Sheriff’s Department will make its proposal to the Gulf Advisory council on Thursday.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  1. jgotwake says:

    This should not only happen at Mavricks but also at other area’s in the Monterey Bay like Ghost Trees and certain area’s around Moss Landing.

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