‘Jet ski only’ area for Exmouth mooted

Jet Ski High-Speed Photograph Weston

Jet Ski High-Speed Photograph Weston - Credit: citizenside.com

A three-point plan, including dusting off a mothballed slipway and earmarking a ‘jet skis only’ area, could solve antisocial behaviour problems in the Quay and help fund a new Exe patrol boat.

Exmouth Quay Residents’ Association (EQRA) say that, for years, their lives have been blighted by a number of irresponsible jet skiers or users of personalised water craft (PWCs) riding near Shelly beach.

It is argued they are noisy, dangerous to bathers and canooists and have led to arguments with residents over parking.

Shelly Beach is the only one of East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) six beaches without any bylaws, listing what you can and cannot do.

Now, following advice from two Whitehall departments, residents and local councillor Eileen Wragg are urging district bosses to consider the following trio of proposals:

? Bylaws for Shelly beach, so users know what they can do.

? A designated slipway, either Carlton Hill or a new facility, exclusively for jet skis.

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? A PWC registration system with the proceeds funding water patrols and training for jet skiers.

EQRA chairman John Eggleton said: “Our proposals are perfectly reasonable and in no way seek to stop people having fun.

“We simply want users to be told to confine their activities to the designated area.

“Banning jet skis would be the cheapest and simplest remedy - but we have not suggested this.

“One thing is certain, the lengthy experiment, the voluntary approach, has failed abysmally; offending remains a serious and frequent problem.

“It is possible, on the advice of the Ministry of Communities and Local Government and the Ministry of Transport, to take immediate, simple, achievable and cheap measures to resolve the issues.”

Councillor Eileen Wragg said Shelly beach’s lack of bylaws was the first thing she raised when elected as a councillor 18 years ago. “When we (EQRA) spoke to Mark Williams (EDDC’s CEO) he did not discount a third launch site, maybe Carlton Hill or a new one near the Harbour View café,” she said.

Mrs Wragg said she was meeting EDDC’s leader, Paul Diviani, this week on the issue. “Belshers Slipway could then be used to launch light craft, the new Mamhead Slipway for heavy craft, like power boats, and the third slipway for PWCs.

“Carlton Hill is ideal – if it is not being used by the lifeboat, bring it back into public use. East of there is a no-bathing area and PWC owners are keen for it to be set aside for them.”? See EQRA letter on page 10.

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