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Jet-skier ordered to pay £250 for speeding on river

A jet-skier has been ordered to pay towards costs after he admitted speeding and riding without care and caution on Truro River.

On July 10, 2020, Truro Harbour Masters Office received multiple complaints of jet-ski users acting recklessly.

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Harbour staff deployed two boats to investigate and located five jet-skiers on the Truro River. The group were warned about their behaviour but they continued to operate at high speed.

Members of the public supplied video footage of the group acting irresponsibly around moored boats.

Joshua Gotts, of Camborne, was subsequently identified as one of the jet-skiers.

In a prosecution brought by Cornwall Council, Gotts appeared at Truro Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, January 13, where he pleaded guilty to four charges; failing to navigate a vessel with care and caution, causing or permitting a vessel to proceed at a speed great than 8 knots above the Turnaware Bar Starboard hand buoy, jet skiing without the written permission of the Harbour Master and failing to proceed with care and caution and at slow speed in or near the small craft mooring areas.

In mitigation, Gotts said he was an experienced jet-skier and that the craft are difficult to handle below 12mph. He added that he was not aware he needed permission from the Truro Harbour Master to use his jet-ski in the area.

Accepting his guilty pleas, the magistrates gave Gotts a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered him to pay £250 (£228 towards the council’s prosecution costs and a £22 victim surcharge).

Councillor Loic Rich, Chair of the Cornwall Council Harbours Board, said: "This prosecution has been brought about thanks to the sterling efforts of our Harbourmaster and Maritime Management, as well as our legal team at Cornwall Council. It is totally unacceptable that some water users behave in this reckless manner. This very easily could have resulted in someone getting seriously hurt or losing their life. 

“Where we have evidence of people behaving irresponsibly on the water, we will take action."

Rob Nolan, cabinet member for Environment and Public Protection, said: “Those who act in this irresponsible manner pose not only a threat to other people, but also to the local wildlife.

“There is an area on the river where water users are permitted to travel at high speeds safely. If you want to go out on the water check the rules, get permission and show some respect to other water users and the local wildlife.”

Story created on 18 January 2021