Two motorboaters have been ordered to pay ‘hefty fines’ after two separate incidents of endangering the safety of others on Lymington River.
One of the offences involved a powerboat that sped along the Hampshire river, on the south coast, at up to 20 knots (23mph) – more than three times the permitted maximum.
Mark Kelly, of Midland Road, Bournemouth, admitted speeding, navigating his boat in a manner that endangered the safety of others and causing an excessive wash, when he appeared before Southampton magistrates. He also also pleaded guilty to obstructing a harbour officer.
Kelly was fined £500 for each of the four offences and was also told to pay £800 in costs, plus a £50 victim surcharge – a total financial penalty of £2,850.
Speaking after the sentencing, Harbour Master, Ryan Willegers, said: ‘On a busy day in July, Mr Kelly drove his motorboat upriver into Lymington at speed, heedless of the effect that his speed had on others.
‘When stopped by my Harbour Patrol Officers he was unhelpful and gave them a false name and address. We were able to identify him and bring him before the court; the magistrates agreed that this was a serious matter and their penalty reflects this.
‘My staff and I work hard to keep the Lymington River safe and we will challenge this type of behaviour, taking legal action where necessary.’
In a separate incident, David Masters, of Thaxted, Essex, admitted speeding on the river, navigating in a manner that endangered others and creating an excessive wash.
Masters, who had been driving a rigid inflatable boat (RIB), was fined £900 and was also told to pay £800 in costs, plus a victim surcharge of £50.
Harbour Master, Ryan Willegers added: ‘This was a case where the helm of a powerful RIB who was unfamiliar with the area drove upriver far too fast and without due consideration for others, in fact this prosecution was supported by members of the public who were gravely concerned by the way in which the boat was driven.
‘Our General Directions are widely published and the speed limit prominently posted on our navigation marks, ignorance of the law is no excuse and common sense should have prevailed. The magistrates agreed and Mr Masters will now have to pay a hefty fine.’
Chichester magistrates handed out £2,000 in fines and costs this week to a RIB owner and jet-skier caught speeding.
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