Rogue jet-skiers fined for pulling doughnuts and “roaring” around Broads
PUBLISHED: 13:39 13 February 2019 | UPDATED: 16:12 13 February 2019
Two jet-skiers caught “roaring” along the River Waveney and performing “doughnuts” close to a popular riverside pub have been fined hundreds of pounds.
Great Yarmouth Magistrate’s court heard on Tuesday how moored boats strained at their ropes while the two men were “shifting” along the waterways during a two hour period on a sunny May 25 last year.
Lorna Hall, prosecuting on behalf of the Broads Authority, said jet-skis were not permitted anywhere along the network and that the two men had broken a string of byelaws relating to speeding and navigation.
She said the journey from Breydon Water to The Bell at St Olaves would have taken anyone adhering to the speed limit around 45 minutes and the two men had done it in around 11.
Gary Welch, 39 of Churchill Road, Great Yarmouth, and Alan Eastwood, 36, of Baliol Road, Gorleston, were each charged with 17 offences.
They did not appear in court.
Ms Hall said the pair were first spotted at around 12.15pm by the operator on Breydon Bridge who alerted the authorities and said in a statement that they were “shifting.”
Then as they approached Burgh Castle they were filmed and photographed by Susan Goodchild of Goodchild Marine who also flagged up her concerns, their speed causing considerable wash around the moored boats there.
They were described as “powering” past the marina.
In a statement read out to the court she added she was worried about less experienced boat hire cruisers who could panic when confronted with a situation on the river.
Written evidence was presented from two people who were at The Bell in St Olaves.
They raised concerns about how the craft were being manoeuvred and “bounced”, the rapid acceleration being “like a motorcycle pulling away”, and about “doughnut spins” being done in the river.
The pair were pulled over by a blue light at Berney Arms, Eastwood answering “no comment” to most of the questions and Welch being uncooperative and in a hurry saying he had to collect his children from school.
Both men said they were unaware jet-skis were banned on the Broads, saying they had seen speedboats on the waterways.
Magistrates found the men guilty of all charges in their absence fining them £50 for each offence, adding up to £850, plus £260 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.