Fishermen, scientists, and state officials in Hawaii are questioning the safety of “Iron Man”-style jetpacks that use pumped seawater to send users flying up into the air. The devices can send people flying 30-45 feet high and have become popular in many seaside resorts. While they look like a blast for the adventurous beach goer, there are fears that the jetpacks have the potential to cause damage not just to people, but to corals and fish as well.
In Hawaii, locals are raising the alarm. Scientists are concerned that dish and coral larvae might get pumped through the ocean jetpack equipment and die, while fishermen are worried the loud machinery will scare away local fish. The Department of Land and Natural Resources is examining the issue and considering regulations that will only allow the devices to be used in designated areas.
Surprisingly, the owners of the companies that produce and distribute the jetpacks are supportive of Hawaii’s attempts to regulate their use, as long as they are able to have input on the decision. They say they want to help promote local tourism in a responsible way that doesn’t harm the ecosystem.