Relaxing the controls on jetskis close to the Bexhill beach should be opposed on safety grounds

From: John Hodson, Cooden Sea Road, Bexhill

As Chairman of the Herbrand Walk Beach Preservation Society I wrote recently to Malcolm Johnston, executive director of Rother District Council, reminding him that he was Rother’s Director of Resources in 2010-2013 when the production of the Seashore Byelaws was his personal responsibility.

I also pointed out that we had an additional written assurance from Derek Stevens, chief executive in 2012, that “no beach in Rother would be designated for PWC use”. This decision has been enforced since that date.

For that reason this society is totally opposed to the current relaxation of this launching prohibition.

We consider that the simple truth is that the failure this year to control PWC launching from HWB is entirely due to the failure on the part of his beach staff, who have been unable to stop it. Worse, his decision then to allow launching in the boat lane is reprehensible, since he is then legalising activity his staff are unable to control.

So, we have had PWC’s performing high speed manoeuvres close to the shoreline, among swimmers and paddling children.

Despite a warning from the Rother legal advisers, there has been no HSA risk assessment prepared. In the event of accident all parties to the decision to launch would be liable for prosecution.

We have also reminded him of the extreme difficulties encountered in stopping PWC use when the byelaws were introduced in 2013.

Similar difficulties will surely follow when the stopping of the relaxation of the byelaws is attempted!

Will they, too, be described as “operational difficulties”?