RIB Fined for speeding on the Hamble River
A Cautionary Tale about the dangers of breaking IRPCS rule 6…
A SAILOR endangered lives by whizzing his new girlfriend around the River Hamble in an inflatable speedboat after splitting up with his wife. X, rocked other vessels when his high-powered craft reached speeds of 35mph, a court was told. Witnesses claimed they could have been killed as X rocketed down the busy Hamble at the height of summer. One boater said he was nearly tipped from his dinghy by X’s wake. He said in a statement read out at Fareham Magistrates Court: 'I saw a big yellow rigid inflatable coming straight at us at high speed. I drove to the left as quickly as I could and it passed 30ft away at about 35mph. If they hit us we would have been killed.' Another yachtsman sounded a warning as X navigated a narrow channel past children in small dinghies, and a third witness said: 'The people on the boat seemed oblivious and had no consideration for other users.'
In a confrontation with assistant harbour master Richard Lawton, X insisted he had done nothing wrong, as there was no river speed limit. But Mr Lawton, under siren and flashing lights, then chased X's 21ft Ribtec Coastline as he sped off, and the pair argued again. X admitted navigating without care and attention on July 13, but said he had misunderstood a sign - which only advised a limit of 7mph - on his first day out on the new £8,000 craft. 'At the end of the day I was incorrect. We were enjoying ourselves, there's no doubt about that,' he said. JP’s yesterday fined X £120 and ordered him to pay £2,000 of the £4,695.77 the Harbour Authority spent on the prosecution. Hamble harbour master Richard Exley said after the rare prosecution: 'There is much less control at that speed. It's like driving at 60mph through a built-up area towards a school.'
(Portsmouth Evening News November 28th 2002)