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Speedboat captains fined for dangerous navigation

Two speedboat captains, who had the job of taking London tourists on guided tours of the capital, have been fined for dangerous navigation.

Westminster Magistrates Court heard how Ian George was master of Captain Rocket (owned by Thames Rockets) when it collided with a private recreational boat near the Thames Barrier in June last year..

George admitted dangerous navigation (under section 108 of the Port of London Act) and failure to comply with collision regulations.

Lee Smith was master of the Thamesjet-owned Blue Lightning, when the boat was caught navigating dangerously on the tidal Thames near Wapping, east London, in June last year. Smith admitted navigating on the wrong side of the river and travelling at 31.7 knots through a narrow gap between a fixed structure and the shore – breaking Section 108 of the Port of London Act and contravening collision regulations.

George (55) of Fairmead Avenue, Benfleet, Essex, and Smith (29) of Dorothy Gardens, Benfleet, appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court last month. No one was hurt in either incident. George was ordered to pay fines and court costs of more than £2,300. Smith was told to pay fines and court costs of more than £1,600.

After the hearing, PLA harbour master (upper) Mark Towens said: "These two prosecutions underline the fact that all river users must comply with river safety rules. The Port of London Authority will prosecute people who compromise safety on the tidal Thames, putting other river users at risk.”

Further info:

Martin Garside, (01474) 562 366