Student deaths spark renewed call for jetski ban in Denmark

Dansk Folkeparti would like to see a total ban on the high-speed, high-performance water vehicles

In the wake of the terrible accident at the weekend that left two American students dead, Dansk Folkeparti wants the current rules governing jetskis changed.

The party would like to see a total ban on jetskis, and it blames an EU judgment in 2009 that went against Sweden for permitting their use.

At that time, the ruling emphasised it was against EU competition rules to totally ban the use of the high-performance water vehicles. The High Court in Denmark then had to abide by the same ruling.

READ ALSO: Mayor wants crackdown on hazardous jetskiing following tragedy

“I think we ought to return to a situation where it is up to the municipality to decide whether to allow jetskis. It’s problematic to use regulations regarding the inner market to decide to what degree jetskis should be available in Denmark,” Kenneth Kristensen Berth, the EU spokesperson for the party, told TV2.

Current rules sufficient
However, not everyone agrees. Socialdemokratiet feels that first and foremost, it is important to enforce the existing rules. At present, the use of jetskis closer than 300 metres to the coast is prohibited. It is also prohibited to sail into nature reservations, game reserves and conservation areas.

“I don’t think it would be a good idea for Denmark to rush into new legislation that might lead to the risk of another case in the European Courts,” Peter Hummelgaard Thomsen, Socialdemokratiet’s EU spokesperson, told TV2. “In the first instance, we should ensure the rules we have are enforced.”

Jan E Jørgensen of Venstre agrees. He told Politiken that “as far as I can see, what happened at the weekend in Copenhagen Harbour is already forbidden today. We just need to make sure that the prohibition is enforced.”

“It doesn’t make much sense to ban something that is already forbidden,” Jørgensen emphasised.