A MAN has been fined hundreds of pounds for speeding... on a river.

Essex Police and Colchester Council have slapped a jet-skier with a £400 penalty after exceeding the eight-knot limit on the River Colne.

The speedster was caught breaking the limit near Point Clear by officers enforcing Operation Wave-Breaker.

He was also ordered to pay a £160 surcharge and £150 costs bringing his total fine up to £710.

Sergeant Alex Southgate said: “We try to educate PWC users about safe riding, particularly those new to the activity.

"Most of them heed our advice. But some do not and then we take action.

“Officers had already warned the man twice that day about speeding so, the third time, we reported him to Colchester Council, which administers the River Colne’s bylaws.”

Gazette: Educating: sergeant Alex Southgate speaking with members of the publicEducating: sergeant Alex Southgate speaking with members of the public (Image: Essex Police)
Despite the arrest, crimes of anti-social behaviour and speeding incidents in rivers and on the coast have significantly reduced this year.

Reports of anti-social behaviour and speeding incidents involving personal watercrafts have halved compared to those recorded in 2022, despite a significant increase in users since the Covid pandemic.

Incidents on the River Colne have been said to have steadily reduced and those in Harwich and Clacton remain very low, according to Essex Police.

After incidents on the River Colne at Wivenhoe, Rowhedge, Brightlingsea and Point Clear Bay, however, three people were summonsed for breaching the water speed limit while another was charged with three counts of common assault.

These cases are still progressing through the courts.

Sergeant Southgate added: “It’s the third year we’ve run Operation Wave-Breaker and so regular visitors are now more aware of local water byelaws and the risks that speeding personal watercraft pose to other water users.

“And it’s this increased awareness which has proved such a success. We encourage people to report dangerous water-based activity to us so we can take action and we work with local councils, which are responsible for the bylaws, to prosecute offenders whose behaviour has put themselves or others at risk.

“There are very few accidents involving personal watercraft in Essex and we want to keep it that way.”