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Lymington sailor Sam Lloyd piloted RIB on wrong side of river at 24 knots

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A SAILOR apologised after admitting piloting a RIB dangerously in Lymington River at an estimated four times the speed limit.

Sam Lloyd (33), of Fullerton Road, Lymington, appeared at Southampton Magistrates’ Court to plead guilty to two charges of navigating at speeds over six knots and endangering the safety of other vessels.

The incident on 3rd July 2021 was described by Lymington Harbour Master Ryan Willegers as a “serious breach” of the rules of the river.

Lymington River (photo: petertt/123rf.com)
Lymington River (photo: petertt/123rf.com)

Lloyd pleaded guilty to both offences and was ordered to pay fines totalling £400, plus court charges of £260.

Mr Willegers said that his action had “posed a significant danger to himself and other craft” but added he was “grateful that Mr Lloyd recognised this with his guilty plea and through an apology for his actions”.

According to a statement by Lymington Harbour Commissioners, Lloyd had been socialising at the yacht haven before leaving on his RIB at about 6.25pm on what was a busy Saturday evening with clear weather.

He accelerated the RIB, passing close to a yacht which was preparing to dock, causing it to rock with excess wash.

Mr Willegers said: “Mr Lloyd then entered the main navigation channel in Horn Reach at speed and appeared heedless of the danger if a vessel had been travelling south in the channel and approaching from his port side.

“His view upriver would have been restricted and at the speed he was travelling there would have been little time to avoid a collision.

“It is fortunate that there was nothing passing at the time. The consequences of a collision at such speed would have been very serious.”

Mr Willegers said Lloyd navigated on the wrong side of the channel and passing four inbound vessels on their starboard sides, contrary to regulations, and caused more wash for small vessels on the river.

Mr Willegers said: “As well as being captured on CCTV, a number of people saw the RIB’s passage, including Lymington Harbour Commissioners officers.

“A subsequent investigation concluded that Mr Lloyds speed was in the order of 24 knots, some four times more than the legal six-knot limit.”

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