13 boaters prosecuted for navigation offences on the Broads

The Broads Authority highlights the prosecutions of boat owners for numerous counts of breaking Navigation Byelaws on the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads, since February 2021.

ranger conducting speed checks at how hill

The Authority is committed to prosecuting those who put the Broads and its users at risk. Piloting over the speed limit creates excess boat wash and dangerous boat handling causes distress to people enjoying the Broads. It is also a real danger to wildlife and has the potential to cause serious damage and injury.

Of the 13 boaters prosecuted, there were numerous counts of failing to navigate with care and caution (15 counts), of breaking the speed limit and creating excess wash (12 counts) and of failing to respond to a request for information from Rangers (two counts).

The offences took place at Brundall, Reedham, Salhouse, Horning, Breydon Water, Barton Broad, Oulton Broad and on the Rivers Ant and Waveney.

Magistrates imposed a total of £16,898 worth of fines for these offences. This combined figure includes Court fines (£8121) and costs (£6,291), victim surcharges (£786), which are paid to support charities for the victims of crime, and compensation towards the cost of damages to victims (£1,700).

ranger conducting speed checks at how hill

Broads Authority Senior Ranger for Compliance and Safety, Jon Hopes, said of the court cases,

“It’s important to make clear that prosecution is always a last resort, used once all other conversations and avenues have failed.

“The Broads Authority takes these offences seriously and we hope these prosecutions send a clear message that keeping to speed limits, and navigating with care and attention helps to protect the Broads National Park and all its users.

“They also show how seriously the courts (through fines) take these matters and demonstrate that they too have a low tolerance for dangerous behaviour.”

Going above the boating speed limits increases boat wash and damages the river banks through erosion. Wash from the speeding vessel can cause damage to moored vessels and capsize smaller craft, like kayaks and canoes.

The Authority asks anyone who witnesses boats that are speeding or being driven carelessly to note details such as the boat name or registration, take photos or videos if they can, and report the incident to Broads Control on 01603 756056 or by emailing: Broads.Control@broads-authority.gov.uk.

Tuesday 24 May 2022