JET skiers in Loch Lomond have hit out at the local MSP after she said she was “increasingly of the view” that the high-speed vessels should be banned.

Last week, during a Holyrood debate, Jackie Baillie suggested that an upcoming review of the by-laws put in place by the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park authority could look at introducing new restrictions.

READ MORE: National park debate: MSP in Loch Lomond jet ski ban call

The MSP said there had been a huge increase in the number of jet skis on the loch over the pandemic.

“They’re launching at different points in the loch, and the behaviour of some users is incredibly dangerous – driving whilst drunk, driving whilst using drugs, buzzing swimmers close to the shoreline and travelling at dangerous speeds is becoming all too common,” she said.

“Enforcement is clearly challenging. And when I asked the Scottish Government how many people have been charged by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service from 1999 to August 2021, the number was precisely three. That’s simply not good enough.

“The debate now is whether to allow jet skis at all or to confine them to parts of the loch. And I have to say given the problems with enforcement, I am increasingly of the view that they shouldn’t be allowed at all.”

Members of the Loch Lomond Boats and Jet Skis Facebook group have now organised a campaign in a bid to see off any potential ban.

A spokesman for the group told The Herald: “In response to Ms Baillie’s comments, as a group of over 6,300 members we condemn irresponsible behaviour on the loch and support the park authority in enforcing existing by-laws effectively.

“We feel very strongly that Ms Baillie’s comments are completely ill-informed and paint every user of a jet ski in a very bad light, which is quite simply not the case.”

They said the jet ski community “promote responsible behaviour at all times when on the loch, and contributes hugely to the local economy in both business and organise charity events that raise thousands of pounds for Loch Lomond Rescue Boat which in turn benefit every user of the loch from swimmers, to boaters, paddleboarders and jet skiers”.

The group called on Ms Baillie and the park authority “to engage with us to come up with a strategy to tackle any antisocial behaviour”.

The spokesman added: “To simply call for a ban of all jet skis is a wholly disproportionate response.

“How would the motorcycle community react if motorcycles were banned from the roads due to a few reckless riders?”

The group said the answer “lies in efficient enforcement of the current by-laws and presence of rangers in particular trouble spots”.

They also said statistics around vessel registration showed that Ms Baillie’s claim of an increase in the number of jet skis on the loch was incorrect. 

The spokesman said it was “also the case that the events of the past two years due to the pandemic are not an accurate representation of statistics given the numbers of people holidaying at home rather than going abroad”. 

He added: “For balance we should look at the preceding decade.”

Ms Baillie told The Herald that her constituents were “under siege”.

She said that on sunny days, Luss and Balloch were particular hotspots, and while she recognised many jet skiers were responsible and well behaved, a sizeable number were not. 

“It’s one thing to have robust by-laws, but there is little enforcement,” she said.

The MSP said she had been “inundated” with messages from concerned locals.

“I am always keen to work closely with local communities and stakeholders, but we need effective solutions that will address his growing problem,” she said.

Earlier this month, Police Scotland launched the multi-agency Operation Balaton to “ensure loch users are acting responsibly, safely and in line with the park by-laws”.