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£3,000 fine and costs for speeding RIB driver

A boat owner has been ordered to pay more than £3,OOO in fines and costs after being caught speeding in his RIB in Falmouth Harbour last summer.

David Morgan, aged 51, from Newton Abbot, was caught on the harbour’s CCTV system going at almost three times the speed limit.

At Truro Magistrates’ Court, he pleaded guilty to navigating a RIB over the speed limit, unnecessarily navigating through moorings and failing to navigate with care and caution during the incident in July 2023.

He was fined £961 and ordered to pay costs of £2,100 to the Harbour Master.

The court was told that Morgan’s RIB was caught on Falmouth Harbour’s high-definition CCTV system operating at almost three times the six knot inner harbour limit during a busy summer’s day.

Clear images

The images were so clear they showed the driver was using his mobile phone, was not using a kill-cord to cut the engine in case of emergency and no-one on the boat was wearing a lifejacket.

“There are speed restrictions within Harbour limits for very good reason and while it gives us no pleasure to take anyone to court, we are sending out a message that in extreme cases like this we, as a Harbour Authority, can and will prosecute offenders,” said Falmouth Harbour Master Miles Featherstone. “We want all harbour users to enjoy themselves, but to do so safely.”

And he said movements in the harbour are recorded 24/7 as people routinely break harbour byelaws and ignorance of regulations is no defence.

“Speed is proven to be a major factor in many marine accidents through collision or excessive wake,” added Miles. “There have been a number of recent boating fatalities, proven to have been caused by excessive speed.”

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