TWO sailors have been fined thousands of pounds after putting the safety of other boat owners at risk by flouting the speed limit.

One of the incidents involved a powerboat that hurtled along the Lymington River at speeds of up to 20 knots (23mph) – more than three times the permitted maximum.

Southampton magistrates heard that the huge wash created by the craft caused other boats in the river to “rock” at their moorings.

Sarah Wheadon, prosecuting on behalf of Lymington Harbour Commissioners, said the defendant, Mark Kelly, made three or four attempts to moor the powerboat.

She added: “He was red-faced, his speech was slurred and his breath smelt of alcohol.”

The court heard that Kelly also tried to evade prosecution by giving a false name and address to one of the staff employed by the harbourmaster. 

Kelly, of Midland Road, Bournemouth, admitted speeding, navigating his boat in a manner that endangered the safety of others and causing an excessive wash. He also also pleaded guilty to obstructing a harbour officer.

The defendant said he had drunk “a couple of pints” in Yarmouth, adding that he was “new” to boating.

He added: “Everyone else seemed to be going very fast. Where we were it looked all right – but obviously it wasn’t.”

The presiding magistrate, Helen Gaskell, told him: “You have quite openly agreed that it was a pretty foolish act – or acts.

“We have heard about the environmental impact and the safety implications and take a very dim view of your behaviour.”

Kelly was fined £500 for each of the four offences and was also told to pay £800 in costs, plus a victim surcharge of £50 – a total financial penalty of £2,850.

Speaking after the case the harbourmaster, Ryan Willegers, said the incident took place on a busy day in July.

He added: “Kelly drove his boat at speed up the river into Lymington. He navigated heedless of others and with no regard for the effect his speed was having.

“When stopped by one of my harbour patrol officers he gave a false a false name and address, which was foolish as we were able to to trace him relatively easily.

“My staff work hard to keep the Lymington River safe. When dealing with this type of behaviour we will take legal action when necessary.”

In a separate case another sailor, David Masters, of Thaxted in Essex, admitted speeding on the river, navigating in a manner that endangered others and creating an excessive wash.

Masters, who was at the controls of an RIB, was fined a total of £900 and was also told to pay £800 in costs, plus a victim surcharge of £50.