The Italian Almanac


Italian News - August 7

Transport Minister Pietro Lunardi has issued a series of directives aimed at preventing beach-goers from being injured by motorboats or jet skis when they go for a swim. The application of the new rules was announced as the summer holiday season began in earnest and millions of Italians and foreigners headed to the country's beaches for lazy days of sunbathing and swimming.

To keep swimmers and boats as far from each other as possible, and so avert the risk of accidents, port authorities have been told to be strict about keeping any sort of sea craft away from tourist beaches. In general, yachts and motorboats must keep their speed down to 10 knots when within 500 metres of the coast. In addition they must use the special 'corridors' marked out with buoys when they come into shore.

The directives contain an explicit reference to jet skis, which have often been the cause of injuries to unseen swimmers. The idea is to "guarantee the legitimate rights and freedom of all those who choose the seaside for their holidays, in particular people on beaches and scuba divers," a statement said.