Surfer's Death Reignites Debate Over Jet Skis
Wildlife officials limit them, but surfers want them for rescues
By Luke Kelly-Clyne,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2011 4:17 PM CDT
A contestant drops into a big wave at Mavericks.   (AP Photo/Dino Vournas)
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(Newser) – Mavericks is a legendary surfers' paradise off the California coast, where ridiculously big waves draw the sport's best and bravest. It also happens to be part of a designated wildlife sanctuary, thus setting up this dilemma: Sanctuary officials limit the use of jet skis to protect the fragile ecosystem, but surfers say they need skilled jet skiers standing by for rescues. The recent drowning of surfer Sion Milosky has brought the issue to the fore, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

Sanctuary officials place "no value on human life," charges the former director of the Mavericks annual surfing competition. Sanctuary officials, who lift the jet ski ban at certain times of the year, aren't having it. "They are blaming us for public safety issues," says a spokeswoman. "It's their judgment" to hit the waves. She adds that surfers could set up a jet ski safety patrol, as long as it was an "authorized organization trained to do it right."