Two jet-skiers have been fined by Chelmsford magistrates for breaking marked speed limits on the waters around Brightlingsea, Mersea Island and the River Colne.
Magistrates heard how Kyle Doherty and Joseph Doherty, who were both piloting jet skis and carrying passengers, were in breach of Byelaw 3 of the Harbour of Colchester Byelaws. On 5 May 2018, they were stopped by officers from the Essex Police Marine Unit engaged in two ‘Marine Days of Action’ to enforce the byelaws in the area’s waters. Both were travelling at over 20 knots in waters restricted to an 8 knot speed limit.
Kyle Doherty and Joseph Doherty, were stopped by police for travelling at speeds well above the speed limit in waters busy with a variety of vessels from paddle boarders to yachts and motor cruisers.
Although neither appeared in court on 23 August 2018, both had pleaded guilty by post. Magistrates fined Kyle Doherty £133 plus a victim surcharge of £30 and £450 costs. Joseph Doherty was fined £267, plus a victim surcharge of £30 and £450 costs.
Cllr Mike Lilley, Portfolio Holder for Public Safety and Licensing, said: “Speed limits are in place to ensure the safety of all river users, whether they are on jet skis, speed boats or swimming. We want people to come and enjoy our wonderful coastline, but we also want them to act responsibly and within the law.
“I hope these prosecutions and the presence of the police will serve to reassure the marine community, as well as visitors to the area, that we are committed to protecting public safety not only during the busy summer months, but all-year-round.”
Colchester Borough Council works closely with the marine police and Brightlingsea harbour master behind the scenes throughout the year, developing strategies to improve compliance and enforce the byelaws. The Days of Action – which also involved Brightlingsea Harbour staff, the UK Border Agency and the RNLI – followed consultation with the local community to identify areas of concern around coastal areas, the most prominent of which was anti-social behaviour on the water off Mersea Island and along the River Colne.