Surf rage: Jet ski rider almost runs down surfer

Jet ski rider George Doulgeris leaves Maroochydore Court House after being sentenced over two surf rage incidents at Point Cartwright.
Jet ski rider George Doulgeris leaves Maroochydore Court House after being sentenced over two surf rage incidents at Point Cartwright. Stuart Cumming

JET SKI rider George Doulgeris says he hasn't been back to a Coast point break where he had two run-ins with surfers.

The 38-year-old's behaviour was described as "a form of surf rage” by Magistrate Rod Madsen when he sentenced Doulgeris in Maroochydore Magistrates Court today.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Rick Pallister said surfers were enjoying the waves at Point Cartwright before midday on December 18 last year when a jet ski rider came out of the Mooloolah River.

Sgt Pallister said the rider was jumping on the same waves that the surfers were on when they told him to leave.

He said the rider told the surfers "I'm a local and you should f*** off”.

Sgt Pallister said the rider and surfers continued their verbal altercation before the rider accelerated straight towards a surfer, nearly running over the surfer and knocking them off their board.

"The incident continued for a bit more before the witnesses (surfers) left the surf,” Sgt Pallister said.

Vehicle registration details were taken but the incident was not reported to police.

However, a second incident at the same break late in the afternoon of January 24 prompted surfers to get police involved.

The court heard one of the same surfers involved in the December incident was again in the water.

Sgt Pallister said about 10 surfers were in the water when a jet ski rider came out of the Mooloolah River and began jumping on the same waves.

He said the rider was landing about 10m away from riders.

An argument ensued.

Sgt Pallister said the jetski rider started riding amongst the surfers, chopping up the water in a way that was described as intimidatory.

Meanwhile, someone on the shore was taking photographs of the close encounter.

This time the incident was reported to police.

The photographs were tendered in court as a part of evidence.

Police officers caught up with Doulgeris in August.

Sgt Pallister said he was cooperative in the interview and was aware surfers had right of way over powered vehicles.

He told police during the interview he was a safe and extremely skilled rider.

Defence solicitor Chris Nyst said his client had grown up in New South Wales, working in Sydney as apprentice mechanic, security guard and gym owner before moving to the Sunshine Coast in about 2014.

Mr Nyst said Doulgeris now worked as a personal trainer at a Minyama gym.

He said Doulgeris obtained his jet ski licence in 1994 and insisted he was a skilled and passionate jet ski rider.

He said Doulgeris did not think he was putting anyone in danger during the incidents.

Magistrate Rod Madsen said if Doulgeris was skilled and passionate, he should not be getting into incidents with surfers.

"As life experience tells us, familiarity breeds contempt,” Mr Madsen said.

Mr Nyst said Doulgeris had not had any problems with surfers before the incidents and had not had any since.

He said the surfers had told Doulgeris to "f*** off”.

"He regrets the incidents,” Mr Nyst said.

"He is embarrassed he allowed himself to be drawn into them.”

He said Doulgeris had not surfed at Point Cartwright since the incidents.

Mr Madsen noted references tendered on Doulgeris' behalf and accepted the incidents were out of character.

He said jet ski riders had additional responsibilities as their crafts could become deadly weapons.

"You just need to give people a wide berth, these surfers,” Mr Madsen said.

Doulgeris was fined $600 for the first incident and $1000 for the second.

No convictions were recorded.

Topics:  court jet ski point cartwright police sunshine coast surfers surf rage

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