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Jamaica tightens up rules for personal watercraft

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February 18, 2014 07:12 PM EST | AP


KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Jamaica is tightening up rules for personal watercraft in the wake of a U.S. vacationer's death.

Tourism Minister Wykeham McNeill announced Tuesday that all personal watercraft activities have been temporarily suspended while efforts are made to register the machines and beef up enforcement by marine police.

He says a ban on importing new personal watercraft has been extended until October. Fines have also been increased from $200 to $500 for violations of rules such as riding close to shore.

Last month, a Las Vegas man died after being struck in the head by a watercraft off Negril's swimming beach. The operator sped off as beachgoers jumped into the water to pull the man to shore.

The U.S. is the Caribbean island's largest source of tourists.