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A man from Queensland was this week given a suspended six month imprisonment sentence after operating a personal watercraft (PWC) while being both unlicensed and unqualified. The forty year old man was sentenced in the Sutherland Local Court.
The Court heard a NSW Maritime Boating Safety Officer had detected the man operating on the Georges River on 12 December 2010. The man had a history of committing six previous offences of driving a PWC while unlicensed or disqualified. Due to the multiple previous offences, Maritime brought the matter before the court.
The Court sentenced the man to a custodial sentence with a period of imprisonment of six months. He was also ordered to pay $1800 in costs. His prison sentence was suspended on condition of good behaviour. A/General Manager Maritime Operations Trevor Williams said the case highlighted the importance of holding a proper licence and being authorised to drive a vessel, in particular, a personal watercraft.
'Courts view serial offenders very seriously, and will have little hesitation in handing down severe penalties for repeat offenders,' Mr. Williams said.
'Licensing is an essential requirement in the interests of public safety. Licensing assures the public that the person operating the craft has the required training and understanding of the rules and safety requirements associated with operating a high powered craft such as a PWC.'
PWC include makes such as Seadoo, Jet Ski and Waverunner.
For more information on boating safety go to www.maritime.nsw.gov.au.