A NEW club is aiming to make waves as it launches in a new multimillion-pound marina development.
Seaham Jet Ski Club has been set up by watersport enthusiasts as they make the most of the new facilities in the town’s North Dock.
The £3.2million development, launched earlier this year after a two-year delay, is now the base for the club, along with a cafe, heritage centre – which houses the George Elmy lifeboat, and pontoons for 77 boats.
The jet skiers have taken up a unit inside its business centre and moved in earlier this month.
The club has fewer than a dozen members so far, but is expecting membership to rise as word spreads about the marina.
The club is run by Colin Hardy and Gary Tonge.
Colin, a maintenance engineer, said: “We’ll be running trips from Seaham to Whitby or up to South Shields, and organise visits to lakes and lochs.
“Most members or people interested will already be familiar with the Tees Barrage, but there’s a difference between clean water and salt water skiing.
“Seaham has offered us a cheap lease, use of the ramp, it’s got showering facilities, a cafe and it’s a really up-and-coming marina.
“It’s just a young club and we’ve been made welcome so far,.
“The manager Norman Conn has been absolutely fantastic and given us help as we’re applying for Government funding to try and get some better facilities for tying up the jet skis because there’s not really anywhere to anchor them, only boats.”
About £1,000 is needed to cover the cost of the jet ski berth.
The club also aims to challenge the reputation the minority of badly-behaved jet skiers have gained.
Colin added: “It’s quite a dangerous sport and we have a three strikes and you’re out system for members, so there will be no messing about and a strict policy. If people get into trouble, we’ll help them if we can.”
Angy Ellis and her partner Martin Watmough, from Grangetown, signed up as members one day and were returning from a trip out to Hartlepool the next when they were called to help in the rescue of black Labrador Alfie after he fell into the sea.
His owner Juliet Davies, from Shotton Colliery, has thanked the couple for their help in saving the three-year-old pet.