Crown drops speeding boat charge

Nothing in regulations proves buoys are 200-yard markers

A man charged with exceeding five knots within 200 yards of shore had the charge withdrawn after his trial began on Monday. 

Hugh Charles Bush Jr. denied committing the alleged offence last August near Rum Point in Grand Cayman. 

Officer Randolph Jackson Sr. of the Marine Services Unit told Magistrate Valdis Foldats he was on a vessel “just on the outside of the 200-yard markers” when another officer pointed to a vessel on the inside of the markers that was going faster then the five-knot limit. 

Mr. Jackson explained that the special white marker buoys had been placed by the Port Authority of the Cayman Islands to run parallel to the shoreline 200 yards offshore. The area inside the markers is considered the swimming zone, he said. 

Mr. Bush cross-examined him about the placement of the marker buoys in relation to landmarks. He asked if Mr. Jackson was aware that the dock at Rum Point is 600 feet long. Mr. Jackson said he was not aware of that, but he agreed that all of the markers were further out than the dock.  

He also agreed that Mr. Bush’s vessel was coming toward him. 

Mr. Bush maintained that he was heading his vessel away from Rum Point and had already passed the dock – therefore, he indicated, he was more than 200 yards from the shoreline. 

The magistrate said the charge was exceeding five knots within 200 yards – not exceeding five knots within the white markers. 

Crown Counsel Kenneth Ferguson suggested a brief adjournment so that he could double check the Port Authority Law and Regulations. 

When court resumed, he advised he could not find anything that showed the white markers are at 200 yards. “There is no deeming provision in the Port Authority Regulations to say that the special markers are 200 yards from the shoreline,” he explained. 

On the evidence heard, he asked to withdraw the charge and the magistrate agreed. 

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