Published: 14:15, 27 January 2021
| Updated: 14:26, 27 January 2021
Three men from Staffordshire have been fined by police after they travelled by boat to a sea fort - and got stuck.
The trio had made the 180-mile journey from the West Midlands to Southend in Essex by car, before setting out by boat for the historical Red Sands Sea Fort, which sits four miles off the Whitstable coast.
Police body worn footage shows the three men being fined
But after reaching the fort on Sunday, they became marooned when their inflatable boats drifted away and had to be rescued by the Coastguard and other emergency services.
The group, aged between 31 and 41, were taken by the Sheerness RNLI lifeboat to Sheerness Docks, where they told police officers they had intended to spend the night at the sea fort.
Police have today confirmed all three men were issued with fines for breaching Covid-19 regulations..
Sheppey Coastguard Team previously said the men had seen the forts on TV and had wanted a closer look, but had returned to their boats to find they had vanished.
A spokesman said: “They were OK, just embarrassed.”
The trio were among 202 people that were hit with fines for breaching regulations over the weekend alone.
Since the start of the year, 737 people have been fined, including three women who tried to hide in cupboards at a house party and a man on a trip to a brothel - while the total since the pandemic began in March stands at 1,085.
Other breaches from the weekend include an incident in which a man was stopped at the Port of Dover at 1.45am on Saturday. He had travelled from Nottingham and wanted to go on holiday to Hungary, but officers advised him to go home. He then returned to the port at 6.30am and was fined.
A man who previously received a fine on January 18 for going out following a positive Covid test was stopped and fined again after he visited a shop in Tonbridge Road, Maidstone at about 2.30pm on Friday.
Later on Friday, a woman was fined for hosting a house party after police were called to Upper Chantry Lane in Canterbury shortly before midnight.
At about 1.30am on Sunday, five men and six women were fined for attending a student house party in Havelock Street, elsewhere in Canterbury.
Also on Sunday, two men from separate households were fined after failing to wear face masks without an exemption at a shop in Chatham at around 10.30pm.
Assistant Chief Constable Claire Nix, of Kent Police said: "Whilst the vast majority of people continue to abide by the latest government guidelines to help stop the spread of the virus, it is incredibly frustrating that there are still a small minority who think the rules don’t apply to them.
"We have seen examples of people who are not only behaving selfishly, but also putting unnecessary strain on the emergency services with their reckless actions. Whilst I understand the desire we all have to return to normality, we are still in a critical time and it is important to do the right thing, follow the guidelines, save lives and protect the NHS.
"Preventing the spread of the virus is a shared effort and all members of the public need to take personal responsibility."