Speeding Motor Vessels Prosecuted and Fined

In the last 2 weeks, the masters of two motor vessels have been successfully prosecuted for speeding in Chichester Harbour, contravening the Chichester Harbour Byelaws. Mr Antony Payne of Chichester, and Mr Stephen Davies of Chichester were both found guilty of failing to navigate with care and caution, as well as exceeding the harbour’s 8kt speed limit.

On 9 June 2023 Mr Payne was witnessed navigating the vessel Titus II in the Bosham channel at excessive speeds. The vessel passed close to moored yachts and a kayaker, causing excessive wash endangering other harbour users. On 26 August 2023 Mr Davies was witnessed navigating the RIB Samba in the Itchenor Reach at excessive speeds. The vessel passed close to moored yachts and a paddleboarder, endangering other harbour users.

The court heard how the masters of both vessels failed navigate their vessels with care and caution and in such a manner as shall not cause annoyance to the occupants of any other vessel or cause damage or danger to any other vessel or to any mooring or other property contrary to Chichester Harbour Byelaw 4 Vessels to be navigated with care and caution.  Furthermore, they both caused their vessels to be navigated or driven in the harbour at a speed exceeding eight knots through, on or over the water contrary to Chichester Harbour Byelaw 5 Speed of vessels.  

Commenting on the case, Captain Jo Cox, Harbourmaster for the Chichester Harbour Conservancy, said:

“Legislation is put in place to protect the safe navigation throughout the harbour and in these cases both vessels were navigating in such a way as to cause danger for other harbour users.”

Captain Cox further added:

“Harbour Authorities are responsible for managing and running safe and efficient harbours.  They have responsibilities in relation to the safety of vessels and people within the harbour.  We rely upon all harbour users to abide by the Harbour Byelaws in order to protect the safety of all.  These successful prosecutions provide a strong message that this type of incident will not be tolerated.”

Mr PAYNE proved guilty in his absence at Crawley Magistrates Court on 6 February 2024 and fined £1100, ordered to pay costs of £665.58 and a victim surcharge of £440 totalling £2205.58.  Mr DAVIES pleaded guilty by post and was fined £733 by Crawley Magistrates court on 13 February 2024, ordered to pay costs of £774.21 and a victim surcharge of £293 totalling £1800.21. 

A full list of Chichester Harbour Conservancy Byelaws together with other valuable information for harbour users can be found here.https://www.conservancy.co.uk/on-the-water/navigation-safety/