Press Notice No: PR945/2013
Monday, October 14, 2013
Posted 16:37 GMT
Fine for operating fishing boat without safety certificate
At a hearing today at Weymouth Magistrates' Court, the owner/skipper of a fishing boat was fined £5,000 including costs after pleading guilty to operating a fishing vessel without a safety certificate for a 15-month period.
The UK registered fishing vessel Boy Michael (Official No. A15669) CK 109 is a 10 metre long fishing vessel based at Weymouth. She is owned and skippered by Trevor Brooker, who lives in the town.
During a visit to Weymouth by Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) officials on 13 June, 2012, the Boy Michael was observed to be landing fish. Checks showed that she had been due for a survey/inspection by 1 September, 2011, when her safety certificate expired.
The MCA wrote to Brooker in July 2012 and September 2012 advising him of the need to have the vessel surveyed. No response was received.
On 8 November, 2012, a Prohibition Notice was issued which stopped the vessel from fishing commercially. Later that day, Brooker approached an MCA Surveyor on Weymouth Quay and asked to be surveyed on that day. He was informed about the Prohibition Notice. He was also informed that the Surveyor already had a full day and that he should contact Southampton Marine Office to make an appointment. No response was received – however, Brooker did stop fishing.
As no contact had been received from Brooker, the process of de-registering the Boy Michael began. A '30-day notice' was sent out by the Registry of Seaman and Shipping on 8 November, 2012. No response was received. Subsequently, a final notice was despatched on 19 December, 2012. No response was received. The vessel was therefore formally de-registered on 27 December, 2012.
Brooker could have had his vessel inspected at any time during this 37-day process, which would have stopped the de-registration process.
The file was passed to Enforcement on 11 December, 2012. Despite several efforts to contact Brooker no response was received.
Brooker has now had the vessel surveyed and the Boy Michael has been re-registered.
Brooker, of 9 Chelwood Gate, Weymouth, was fined £1,500, plus costs of £3,500, along with a victim surcharge of £120, for failing to comply with the Fishing Vessels (Code of Practice for the Safety of Small Fishing Vessels) Regulations 2001.
In passing sentence, the Chairman of the Magistrates' bench said: "It is important that fishing vessels have safety certificates."
David Fuller, Principal Fishing Vessel Surveyor at the MCA, said: "This case is a timely reminder to owners and operators of small fishing vessels to make sure they full comply with the safety rules.
"They should make sure that they have completed their annual self assessments for their boats and also organise their free five-year inspection with the MCA in plenty of time."
Posted By: Richard Turner
For further details contact:
The Maritime & Coastguard Agency Press Office
023 8032 9401