New boat proposed for jet-ski crackdown

PUBLISHED: 12:30 05 October 2015

Aerial view of Exmouth Ref: 23-05-0043SH

Aerial view of Exmouth Ref: 23-05-0043SH

Archant

A new 'state-of-the-art' patrol boat costing up to £60,000 could be taking to the waters of the River Exe to catch troublesome jet-skiers.

The boat would enforce bylaws in the Exe Estuary, including a 10 mile per hour speed limit, and work to prevent ‘inconsiderate use’ of the craft.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) has been asked to consider putting up to £15,000 of funding towards the cost of the boat, with other funding coming from Teignbridge District Council, Exeter City Council and money to be collected from housing developers under habitat mitigation rules.

One of the three councils would be expected to own and run the boat, with the other two contributing to the costs in the form of an initial grant.

EDDC’s cabinet will consider the proposal at its meeting on Wednesday.

A report to the cabinet states: “Issues which appear to require some enforcement are jet-ski users weaving at speed within the moorings, being inconsiderate to other users on the water and concerns about bathers in the same area, which are seen as a huge risk.

“There is in place a voluntary code of conduct, but it is considered that this has failed to control a number of inconsiderate jet-ski users who continue to break the bylaws and cause nuisance and annoyance and a potential danger to waterside users.

“The lack of a suitable, regularly-serviced patrol boat enables those undertaking antisocial behaviour on the water and at the waterside to currently escape warning and caution.

“The current craft is inadequate in that it is an ex-police launch, very old and underpowered and, therefore, it is not fast enough or safe enough to apprehend jet-ski users who break the speed limit within the bylaw areas.

“Approximately £50,000 to £60,000 would provide a state-of-the-art craft which could carry out enforcement and monitor the Exe Estuary habitat throughout the year.”

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