Jet ski users trap Bournemouth man in current for half hour

Jet ski users trap Bournemouth man in current for half hour

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A BOURNEMOUTH man believes ‘someone will be killed’ as a result of antisocial jet ski users, after two trapped him in a current for half an hour.

Anthony Fuller was coming back from a ten mile paddle when the pair started doing doughnuts around him in Poole Harbour.

He said had a person in the same position not had the level of experience he has “they would not be here today".

Read more: Coastguards called to help jet skier injured off Sandbanks

“I was coming back from a paddle coming around to Shell Bay when two idiots came out and started doing doughnuts. That pushed me into the channel where there is a really strong current,” the watch trader told the Daily Echo.

“It took me half an hour to get out of the current and I’ve been boarding for ten years.”

The 50-year-old added that had he not got out of the current he would have “either have been hit by a ferry or another boat".

Once Mr Fuller returned to shore he reported the incident to the harbour master, but he said there should be action at national level.

“It needs to be regulated, there’s so many people with jet skis now. You need to get a licence for driving and diving, why not this?

“It should be banned, so that people can not just turn up (and use a jet ski), they should have to have a licence. I’m a drone pilot, I have to have one for that.”

The experienced paddle boarder also called into question the presence of the police on the water, although he was sympathetic to funding issues.

“I spend more time on the water than off and I’ve never seen a police presence. But there’s not enough resources with so many other problems,” he added.

Following other reports of incidents involving anti-social behaviour from personal watercraft users, Mr Fuller fears something more severe could happen.

Read more: Man on jet ski hurls homophobic abuse and splashes swimmer in Mudeford

He said: “It’s an open invitation for someone to be killed.”

Dave Brown, co-ordinator of Dorset Police’s Marine Policing Team, said: “Dorset Police is part of a multi-agency initiative to improve the safety along our coastline and tackle any anti-social behaviour on the water.

“We have been taking part in joint operations that are designed to mainly educate people using personal watercrafts in our area and have continued to do so throughout the summer while our beaches are busy. However, where appropriate we will also support our partners in identifying users breaching local byelaws and deal with offences or refer full details to the appropriate agencies for action.

“The Marine Policing Team (MPT) created and launched Operation Seagoing, which is a multi-agency initiative involving the local council, Harbour Masters, Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority, Marine Management Organisation, RNLI, HM Coastguard and our rural crime team.

“The operation was launched in response to complaints and concerns from the public about anti-social behaviour involving people using personal watercrafts, including small speed boats, and it sees targeted patrols and engagement activities carried out on slipways and on the water.

“We base our response on intelligence-led policing and we will target hotspots where most incidents have been recorded as this is the best way of policing the byelaws.

“In addition, the MPT has procured a safety package for personal watercraft users that have not undertaken a power boat level 2 course or a personal watercraft proficiency course. This package is not intended to replace these courses, which are highly recommended, but to give additional guidance.

Read more: Dorset police address antisocial jet ski users in Poole

“Officers have been working with stakeholders such as personal watercraft associations, which have provided training to an officer and have helped the council to find a local company to patrol the area and educate people that are causing issues.

“We want to enable everyone to enjoy the beauty of Dorset in a safe way and inappropriate or dangerous use of personal watercrafts or small boats or any type of watercraft will not be tolerated in our county.”

Dorset Police also advise anyone using a personal watercraft or driving a motorised boat to check the local byelaws before launching, see who else is in the water, look out for wildlife, observe the sea conditions and to watch their speed.