Grays jet-skier fined for speeding and safety offences

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A JET skier who flouted speed limit and safety rules on the tidal Thames has been fined, following a successful prosecution by the Port of London Authority.

Kestutis Abramavicius, 36, was captured on video (by a member of the public) as he sped along the river near Benfleet Creek, Canvey Island, Essex.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard how the offence took place in October last year. Abramavicius, of Dukes Avenue, Grays, admitted “navigation without due care and attention” under Section 108 of the Port of London Act. He was fined £750 and ordered to pay costs of more than £3,000.

The court was told that there is an eight-knot speed limit throughout the Canvey Island area, which is in place to protect river users and the environment.

He was identified with the help of Essex Police by the checking of launching records at a local slipway which matched the description of his distinctively coloured jet ski.

Benfleet Creek is an environmentally protected area for its habitats and vegetation. Wash generated by the jet ski had the potential to affect this sensitive environment, the court was told yesterday (Wednesday 8 May).

The prosecution comes in the wake of a similar incident, where Lee Martin, 31, from Gravesend, was last month fined £2,750 and ordered to pay costs of more than £3,500 for ignoring a ban on jet skiing on the river in central London.

After the hearing, PLA chief harbour master Bob Baker said: “We think this prosecution, following on from last month’s jet ski case, will again serve as a warning to river users. If you break the rules, we will take action.

“We are also very grateful to the member of the public who recorded the offender committing the offence. Their help was vital to this prosecution and it demonstrates just how concerned people are about safety on the river and its environment.”

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