Two Falmouth men and a child were acquitted of riding jet skis carelessly yesterday after an accident last summer that left one of the riders with devastating injuries.
Alan Cairns, of Dracaena Avenue and Anthony Eva, of Porham Green were brought before the court by Falmouth Harbour Commissioners (FHC), who accused the pair of riding the machines (also known as 'personal water craft') without care and caution and at such a speed as it could have endangered lives or caused injury.
The youth, who is now in his teens and cannot be named for legal reasons, was also charged.
The accident took place in Falmouth Harbour last July when the youth hit Mr Cairns after jumping the wake of power boat, Truro Magistrates' Court heard.
The then 51-year-old Mr Cairns was left with a shattered pelvis that has still not healed.
Although FHC claimed the three had broken the bye-laws of Falmouth Harbour, the magistrates ruled they were merely acting in a similar manner to all jet skiers and described the incident as a "tragic accident."
Eyewitnesses had seen the three jet skiers out around Falmouth and the surrounding beaches but the skipper of a racing yacht who spotted them moments before the accident said there was "nothing unusual" about their behaviour.
Differences in the evidence given by the two adults and the child were highlighted, but after a protracted trial that lasted nearly two full days the magistrates dismissed the case against all three defendants.
Read the Packet's original, exclusive report on the crash that hospitalised Alan Cairns: