Two men and youth 'not guilty' of dangerously driving jet skis in Falmouth Harbour
Two Falmouth men and a youth charged with carelessly driving jet skis resulting in a serious injury accident have had the case dismissed.
Alan Cairns, of Dracaena Avenue, Anthony Eva, of Porham Green, and the youngster, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were charged under the Falmouth Harbours Act with contravening a bylaw, riding the skis without care and caution and at a speed which could endanger lives or cause injury.
It followed an incident last July in which Mr Cairns and the youth collided on their skis while jumping wake from boats in Falmouth harbour. Mr Cairns broke his hip and suffered other serious injuries for which he still requires further surgery, Truro magistrates heard.
The prosecution was brought by Falmouth Harbour Commissioners, which claimed the three had been behaving inappropriately in the lead up to the accident, but magistrates said the evidence did not prove they were doing anything other "than what jet skiers do" and that they "could not be sure their actions were lacking any such caution".
They ruled it was a "tragic accident".
Mr Cairns and the youth each claimed in court that they did not see the other until the last minute, when they were unable to take any avoidance action.
The youth said he got water in his eyes and although he tried to stop, could not find the reverse gear. These Jet skis do not have brakes and reverse is the only way to stop.
Fred Howell, prosecuting, said: "Our case is that the three were in a joint enterprise and their standard of riding was below that as required by the bylaws."
He added that the youth was under the supervision of the adults and this supervision was not given adequately.
Witness Mandy Dale said she saw three jet skiers off Castle Beach earlier that morning "riding round in circles, jumping each other's waves and looking like they were having tremendous fun", but could not identify them.
She said: "I felt they were going fast and having quite a lot of fun, but thought one of them is going to come off in a minute."
But Gwen Bysouth, owner of the boat Celtic Spirit, which was out in the bay, said he saw them but did "not feel threatened" by their behaviour.
He said: "I saw them crossing the wave of the powerboats which is quite common practice. There was nothing unusual about it."
The magistrates dismissed the case against all three defendants.