Marine Police will aim speed-checking laser guns at pleasure boats this summer due to a sharp rise in the number of speedsters last year. Of the 1,062 summonses issued to mariners last year, 137 were for speeding at sea, almost double the 77 people caught speeding in 1996. Only 10 speeding tickets were issued in 1995. Up to April 21 this year, 21 speedsters have been caught. Divisional Commander (East) acting superintendent Poon Tze-chung said five laser guns worth about $40,000 each would be introduced this month. The guns can produce a record of the target's speed that is admissible in court. 'And as the gun is simple to operate, only one officer is required instead of the usual 10 men needed to perform conventional speed detection methods like using a stopwatch or a launch radar,' Mr Poon said. Police would step up patrols in speed-restricted zones, particularly on weekends and public holidays. A five-knot speed limit is imposed from 8 am to midnight on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. The maximum penalty for speeding is a $2,000 fine. Mr Poon said police would also crack down on unlicensed operators of pleasure craft, which made up the bulk of summonses last year. Shark patrols have begun.