POOLE’S harbour master has warned “ignorance is not an excuse” to anyone caught speeding on the water.

Eight prosecutions have been brought by Poole Harbour Commissioners following a number of complaints of speeding jet skis and motor boats this summer.

A jet skier appeared in court on Wednesday after being caught in Poole Harbour travelling almost three times the speed limit.

Alan Bailey, aged 55, of Barnes Hill, Birmingham, admitted being in charge of a craft in the harbour - a Yamaha Jet Ski - without the harbourmaster’s consent on May 28, and admitted travelling in excess of ten knots.

He was handed a £260 fine by magistrates and ordered to pay £330 costs and victim surcharge.

Bailey was one of three people to appear before magistrates on Wednesday, charged with offences relating to speeding on water craft in the harbour.

Colin Parnell, aged 55, of Moriconium Quay, Poole, admitted speeding within the harbour on his small motor boat, on May 23. And Zack Chalkley, aged 29, of Friday’s Heron, Cranborne, Wimborne, was charged with breaking the ten knot harbour limit on June 10.

The speed water craft can travel within the harbour is strictly regulated by local bylaws, and all personal craft must have prior permission of the harbourmaster. Some parts of the harbour have a six knot speed limit, other parts are governed by a 10 knot limit.

Prosecuting, Lucy Goff, said Bailey was clocked by the harbour master patrol vessel, Vixen, travelling through the main middle ship channel at 29 knots, where the limit is just 10 knots.

She also said: “After stopping Mr Bailey it was also found he hadn’t paid for a licence.”

A one-day personal water craft licence, a requirement for using the harbour, costs £15.

Appearing unrepresented, Bailey told the court: “I apologise for wasting your time today. I didn’t know how quick I was going until I was pulled over.”

Bailey was fined £60 for not having a licence and £200 for speeding.

Brian Murphy, harbour master, said if it was in the public’s interest to do so, speeding water craft users would be prosecuted.

“I pride myself on trying to keep a safe harbour. One complaint is one too many.

“We monitor speeding every single year. If we have a good summer, there are more boats out and more are found speeding.

“We get all sorts of excuses - ‘the throttle jammed’ or ‘I didn’t know there was a speed limit’. Ignorance is not an excuse. There are speed limit signs around the harbour and information on our website and in the harbour guide so there’s no excuse.”