MCSO: Kids who crashed jet skis were 13 years old, within legal age minimum in AZ

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No charges are expected in the case of four kids hurt in a jet ski crash. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) No charges are expected in the case of four kids hurt in a jet ski crash. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Some watercraft rental shops have their own age restrictions. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Some watercraft rental shops have their own age restrictions. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Jet Action Rentals in Tempe requires customers sign off on a contract saying no one under age 18 will get behind the controls. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Jet Action Rentals in Tempe requires customers sign off on a contract saying no one under age 18 will get behind the controls. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
APACHE LAKE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said Monday operators of two jet skis that collided at Apache Lake were each 13 years old.

The crash Sunday sent the operators and two passengers, ages 11 and 14, to the hospital.

[READ MORE: MCSO: 4 children seriously injured after collision involving jet skis at Apache Lake]

It was unclear Monday if the four children were still receiving treatment at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

MCSO says it is not looking into charges related to the accident. Arizona law allows children as young as 12 years old to operate personal watercraft.

“We don’t have anyone telling us at this point they were doing anything reckless at the time of the collision,” says Sgt. Joaquin Enriquez with MCSO.

Enriquez also says all four children were wearing their life vests, which likely helped in the rescue effort.

“Had they not had floatation devices we probably would not be sitting here talking about the same situation,” says Enriquez.

It is unclear what caused the crash.

Some watercraft rental shops have their own age restrictions. Jet Action Rentals in Tempe did not rent to the families involved in yesterday's accident, but it requires customers sign off on a contract saying no one under age 18 will get behind the controls.

“Anyone under that age, it’s just not safe,” says owner Ryan Plummer. “You can get out of hand pretty quickly on the water if you don’t understand how to operate it properly.”

Plummer says some jet skis can top speeds of 70 miles an hour. He says newer watercraft tend to be safer.

“They’re bigger, they’re heavier, you can control them better,” says Plummer.

Plummer has been in the watercraft business for 21 years and says there are two common types of crashes: those resulting from operators following each other and those who cut power when trying to maneuver around an obstacle.

“People panic,” says Plummer. “They let go of the power, they try to turn to avoid what they’re going to hit, and they end up hitting it.”

Plummer says he gives every customer a copy of Arizona boating laws as well as a copy of his own rules for rentals.

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Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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