The thrilling 20-passenger Thunder Jet boats that spin around in Sydney Harbour are inviting, but are they a safe way to see Sydney Harbour’s sights? Passengers can view the Sydney Bridge, the Opera House and more — while enjoying incredible stunts and wild spins.
The answer is an unequivocal yes! Here are the reasons why:
Our operation, the Thunder Jet Boat Sydney, is under the control of the NSW Maritime, a local governing body regulating adventure boat operation in Sydney Harbour. The NSW Maritime outlines three concerns that Thunder Jet Boat must be aware of, concerns we share:
- Areas the Thunder Jet boats can operate.
- The distance maintained from other vessels and individuals in the water.
- The speed of operation. It is restricted, as is operation in shallow areas where a boat could capsize.
- Boat Masters must understand local traffic conditions.
Our boat Masters are registered with the NSW Maritime. The NSW Maritime must grant Masters and boats approved status before they can operate in the harbour. Our Thunder Jet Boats have been approved for operation, as well as our crew.
Sydney Harbour is a busy place, with commercial and recreational vessels of all kinds travelling the waterways. Ferries regularly navigate the harbour. How to ensure the safety of the passengers on board the Thunder Jet boat and the safety of others around them is our first priority. Our crews use only the designated areas to perform the exciting stunts and spins.
The NSW Maritime has also prohibited maneuvers or stunts in the head of oncoming vessels at 200 meters or less, or near vessels to the port and starboard within 60 meters, or near vessels 60 meters behind the Thunder Jet boat. These are obvious safety concerns and we heartily conform to these guidelines. We know the location of stationary fixtures, other vessels and individuals in the water.
The area approved for use by vessels like the Thunder Jet boats has been thoroughly researched by the NSW Maritime to avoid conflicts with other vessels, any anticipated conflicts with other waterway users, the proximity of residential areas to the maneuver area and any environmental issues.
The Thunder Jet boats comfortably seat 20 people, 23 in our larger boat, and we provide rain ponchos. Amidst all the fun, passengers get sprayed. This boat is fun and we want everyone to buy a ticket, but the boat designers have suggested we restrict the age of children to five years to ensure they are old enough to reach handrails. Just as a precaution, we don’t advise pregnant people, people recovering from a recent injury, or anyone with back, neck or heart problems to get on board. We also lock up personal items like wallets, passports, purses or cameras in lockers if riders prefer. Cameras are allowed on board, but a camera will likely get wet.
The Thunder Jet boats and staff have operated in Sydney Harbour for over 15 years and have never suffered an accident. The boats are designed with safety as the first concern. Though we’ve never had occasion to use it, all boats are outfitted with safety equipment. Everyone at Thunder Jet boat is concerned about safety and both management and crew routinely check on the vessel safety issues — Those checks occur every day. If you have any other concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us about it.