Broads rangers warn more than 3,000 boaters about speeding over summer months

Chris Morphew Broads Authority Ranger.The Broadsbeat police launch taking part in a joint enforcemen

Chris Morphew Broads Authority Ranger.The Broadsbeat police launch taking part in a joint enforcement patrol with the Environment Agency and Broads Authority. Launching at Norfolk Broads Yacht Club, Wroxham. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

Rangers who keep a watchful eye over the Broads warned more than 3,000 boaters about speeding during the summer period.

Broads Authority ranger, Edgar Hoddy, at Whitlingham Country Park, who was nominated for an Inspirat

Broads Authority ranger, Edgar Hoddy, at Whitlingham Country Park, who was nominated for an Inspirational Hero Award by the National Trust. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2012

The team of rangers, whose role varies from general advice to handling emergency scenarios, told 3,164 boaters on the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads that they were sailing too fast from May to July this year.

The majority, 3,105, were simply reminded to keep to the leisurely limit - which varies from three to six miles per hour across the Broads - but the remainder were given a written, so-called blue book, warning.

It is a rise on last summer, when 2,735 warnings were given.

The water around Wroxham was a hotspot for fast drivers, with 1,427 boats stopped this year, while the Irstead launch stopped 648 boats on the River Ant.

Boats on the water at Ranworth in the heart of the Norfolk Broads.Picture: James Bass

Boats on the water at Ranworth in the heart of the Norfolk Broads.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

Lucy Burchnall, head ranger at the Broads Authority, said the figures - which are published in a document on how often rangers exercised their powers - were to be expected.

'It sounds like a high number but it's a small proportion of the boats that pass through,' she said. 'A lot of people have just come off the roads, driving at 70 miles per hour, and aren't used to driving at 30.

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'The majority of people are just told to slow down and they are fine.'

She said those stopped were a mixture of both holidaymakers and new or infrequent private boaters.

Lucy Burchnall from the Broads Authority

Lucy Burchnall from the Broads Authority - Credit: Broads Authority © 2011

'Generally, people are happy to see us,' she said. 'We just remind people that a break on the Broads is about relaxing, having a slower pace of life and enjoying what is around you.'

From May to July, the Broads control team received 12,129 calls on a miscellany of issues, a slight rise on the 12,068 in the same period last year.

They also dealt with toll payment issues and 'care and caution' incidents, which include boaters driving carelessly.

When asked what message she would like to get across, Mrs Burchnall said: 'Keeping to the speed limit, but also keeping a safe speed for the conditions you're in. We always promote wearing a life jacket.

'But, generally, to be aware of your surroundings, to slow down and enjoy the Broads.'

• Do you have a Broads story? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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