Exeter City Council hit by £4.5k bill after vessel crashes into buoy

The Harbour Master believes the boat that hit the buoy must have been travelling fast and may have been damaged as well Credit: Exeter City Council

A hit-and-run that saw a boat leave a buoy significantly damaged in Devon is expected to cost the council more than £4,000.

The navigational buoy was completely written off after being struck by a vessel in the Exe Estuary off Lympstone on the evening on Friday 26 August.

It meant the 6ft tall No. 31 green buoy – which marks a turning point for vessels in the estuary - had to be removed from the water and a replacement buoy installed.

The damage will also cost Exeter City Council around £4,500 in total.

But harbour patrollers have said they do not know who hit it appealed to the public in an attempt to identify the mystery boat.

The buoy has had to be removed from the water and replaced as a result of the crash Credit: Exeter City Council

Harbour Master Grahame Forshaw believes the boat must have been travelling fast to have caused such extensive damage to the buoy.

“We believe the vessel must have been travelling at considerable speed and would possibly have sustained significant damage,” he said.

“We think this vessel may now have been removed from the estuary,” he added.

The crash has been reported to the police.

Harbour Patrollers hope someone with information about the collision will get in touch by ringing the Harbour Master office on 01395 223 265 or by emailing epa@exeter.gov.uk.