Model speed boat ‘being aimed at swans’ at Canoe Lake in Southsea

Ruby Mills (11), meets ninety-one year old Beryl Dunkerley who was a pupil at the school in 1935 
Picture Ian Hargreaves  (170925-1)

WATCH: School celebrates a century of memories

43
Have your say

THIS is the moment a model speed boat was captured on video causing a nuisance as it tore around Canoe Lake.

Councillor Luke Stubbs decided to film the noisy remote-control vessel being operated at high speeds around the Southsea beauty spot after receiving complaints from residents.

The model boat filmed at Canoe Lake

The model boat filmed at Canoe Lake

He wanted to highlight the fact that visitors have had enough with the irresponsible actions of the owner, who is spotted down there regularly when the weather is nice.

They say children become startled and swans either move up to the other end of the lake or fly away.

Cllr Stubbs, Portsmouth’s Conservative group leader, said that while he isn’t calling for a ban of model boats at the lake, he thinks they need to be used responsibly.

He said: ‘I am not saying to ban remote-control power boats. But there is a problem when they are being used in such an aggressive manner.

‘Canoe Lake isn’t private property and shouldn’t be used for one person’s enjoyment. The place is a community asset. When model boats are taken around the lake at high speeds, it affects the wildlife. There needs to be a bit of balance.’

Steve Chivers, 73, lives in Dolphin Court, and his property overlooks the lake.

‘It’s shocking,’ he said.

‘I have written to Luke on a number of occasions about it.

‘The members of the local model boat club say it’s got nothing to do with them and they are horrified about the actions of this individual.

‘He just seems to aim the boat at the swans.’

Though there isn’t a bylaw prohibiting the use of model boats at the lake, Portsmouth City Council is looking into the problem.

Roy Goulding, anti-social behaviour unit manager, said: ‘Canoe Lake is used for a variety of leisure activities including crabbing, pedalos, zorbing and sailing model boats. There is no bye-law prohibiting the use of toys on the lake but we would ask people to be respectful of the swans and ducks.

‘We have alerted our community wardens to the complaints and they will keep an eye on the situation and speak to anyone seen to be deliberately scaring the animals.’

Are you the owner of the boat? Call reporter Miles O’Leary on (023) 9262 2169.