River Murray police get jet skis

SA Police will now be able to catch up with jet ski users to check their licences, safety gear and blood alcohol levels.

Police patrols on the River Murray are about to become faster and more nimble than ever.

SA Police has bought two jet skis for its water operations unit, which monitors boat licensing, enforces safety rules and conducts drug and alcohol testing both on the river and along the coast.

Officers took them for a spin north of Blanchetown on Friday, when they stopped the operators of one ski boat and 12 jet skis, resulting in two fines.

Senior Sergeant Philip Grear said the jet skis would help police make South Australia's waterways safer.

“The jet skis will be used by highly trained SAPOL personnel as needed and will monitor improper use of our waterways, particularly in relation to jet skis, which we know are commonly misused on South Australian rivers,” he said.

Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services Minister Vincent Tarzia said the jet skis were more agile than police boats, and could operate in rough conditions or shallow waters that boats could not reach.

SA Police responded to more than 300 marine incidents in 2019-20, including six rescues.

Refused a breath test

Back on dry land, a Murray Bridge man has been charged with disorderly behaviour after allegedly refusing a breath test early last Wednesday morning.

Around 2.25am, police stopped the 33-year-old’s car on Trevor Street and breath tested him.

Police allege that he returned a result above the legal limit of 0.05 per cent blood alcohol, but became aggressive and refused to step out of the car.

When he was taken to the Murray Bridge police station and asked to take a more comprehensive breath test, he allegedly began yelling and swearing and threw a chair.

Police impounded his car for 28 days, disqualified him from driving for 12 months, and charged him with disorderly behaviour, refusing the breath test and hindering police.

He was granted bail and will face court in Murray Bridge on November 11.

Photo: SA Police.

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