Wave runner rider fined

Edsell Alberto Haylock was fined $300 last week after pleading guilty with explanation to a charge involving a Yamaha Wave Runner.

The charge was navigating a vessel in such a manner as to cause risk of damage to people or property.

The offence occurred within a diving zone near the Cracked Conch Restaurant in West Bay on Sunday, 1 July.

Crown Counsel Tanya Lobban said Haylock was riding the wave runner as close as 50 feet to shore within a diving area while scuba divers were in the water. The wave runner narrowly missed a diver, according to one report.

Employees of the restaurant and Divetech dive shop went to the shoreline and shouted at the rider to leave.

He did leave, but he returned to the area about 25 minutes later.

Police were contacted and officers later found Haylock at the West Bay launching ramp. They spoke to him about the report that he had exceeded the 5mph speed limit within 200 yards of shore.

He denied exceeding the 5 mph limit and said he was looking out for divers. Haylock told officers he was carrying fuel to friends whose watercraft had run out of gas. He said he was staying close to shore because of mechanical difficulties with the wave runner he was riding and he was afraid it would break down.

Haylock, 30, confirmed these details in court.

Acting Magistrate Valdis Foldats said the explanation did not amount to a defence and he accepted the guilty plea. He noted the seriousness of the offence, but gave credit for Haylock’s plea and the fact that he had no previous convictions.

The maximum fine is $1,000.

Guilty with explanation is not a legal plea. However, magistrates typically allow it so that they can hear the explanation and decide if it amounts to a not guilty plea. If not, the explanation may contain facts that can be taken into consideration when the magistrate passes sentence.

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