Video footage shows a leisure boat belonging to entrepreneur Jonathan Ruff and a French boat coming together at low speed.
Ports of Jersey has confirmed that Harbourmaster Bill Sadler is investigating the incident, which has been shown on news outlets across the UK. A spokesperson for the Harbourmaster said an official from the Harbour had spoken to Mr Ruff and was determining ‘whether further investigation is required’.
Dozens of French vessels descended on the Harbour on Thursday to protest over post-Brexit access to Jersey’s waters, with two Royal Navy patrol vessels sent by the UK government on Wednesday night to oversee the demonstration. The incident involving Mr Ruff’s boat took place in the Harbour after the former Tamba Park owner appeared to taunt French vessels taking part in the protest.
He was contacted by the JEP for comment but no response was received at the time of going to print.
In a statement, the Ports of Jersey spokesperson said: ‘The Harbour duty manager has spoken to the local boat owner and asked that he submit his account of what happened yesterday. Harbour authorities will then assess this and determine whether further investigation is required.’
Mr Ruff told The Sun that his boat could have been sunk.
He said: ‘He deliberately sped up and went straight for me, clipping my bow. If he had hit my engine I would have been in big, big trouble. I could have lost the boat and anything could have happened.
‘They were out of order and if it wasn’t for some quick evasive action my boat could have been at the bottom of the Channel.
‘He must have known that I would have come off worse if he had hit me – he’s a steel trawler and my boat is only a little pleasure craft. It was totally reckless of him.’
Speaking to The Telegraph, Mr Ruff said he had gone to the protest to ‘show support’ for Jersey.