JET-SKI COLLISION SHATTERS WINDSURFER’S LEG
A windsurfer’s leg was shattered in six places in a horrific collision with
a jet-ski, reports the Portsmouth News of 28 August. Norman Betts, 55, now faces
the prospect of a year off the water after surgeons put eight bolts into his
leg during an eight-hour operation.
Mr Betts, who has windsurfed for 23 years, was sailing at Lee-on-Solent when
he spotted a two-seater jet-ski speeding towards him.
He sheeted out and shouted for the rider to slow down but the jet-ski ploughed
on, smashing into his board. Mr Betts heard a loud crack as his leg twisted
when the jet-ski hit, tossing him into the water. "Thank God the jet-ski
hit the board, not me. I don’t know what a 350kg machine would have done to
my leg," he said.
Mr Betts, who was only 100 yards offshore when hit, is now calling for tougher
laws to control jet-skiers. "This is an accident that’s been waiting to
happen. We need proper policing of the by-laws, which say power vehicles must
not go above 10 knots until they are 800 metres from shore."
The incident is now being investigated by the marine police unit based at Southampton.
In addition, a group called the Solent Skiers Association has started patrolling
the Solent in fluorescent tops. Any jet-skier who breaks the rules is reported
to police and could be prosecuted or fined.
But residents say that after years of campaigning they still want more done.
Gosport council is now considering brining in new jet-ski by-laws at Lee governing
speed and noise.