Press Notice No: 128-12
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Posted 17:08 GMT
Walsall Canal Boat Operator Pleads Guilty To Breaches Of Safety Legislation
At a hearing today at Walsall Magistrates the owner of a Staffs & Worcester Canal Boat pleaded guilty to four charges under Government safety legislation. He was fined £10,000 plus costs of £4,654.33.
The UK registered Canal Boat Hatherton Belle is a 20 metre vessel that had been adapted to carry up 45 passengers along the Staffs & Worcester Canal from Calf Heath Marina.
The owner, local businessman Andy Small who also operates a bar next to the Marina, used the canal boat to take paying parties on cruises along the canal. It was brought to the attention of the MCA that the Hatherton Belle had no Passenger Ship Safety Certificate or Domestic Management Certificate.
Mr Small was served with a Prohibition Notice as the Canal Boat lacked safety equipment. Mr Small ignored the Prohibition Notice and continued to take paying passengers on cruises along the canal. When interviewed by MCA Enforcement Officers he admitted breaching the Prohibition notice and not having any formal Boatman qualifications to allow him to captain cruises.
In passing sentence the Chairman on the Magistrates said: Ignoring the detention notice is a very serious offence. We have taken a significant amount of time to consider this case.
Mr Colum Leggett, Area Operations Manager for the Wales and Western Region of the MCA stated: Although the thought of a cruise down the canal may be attractive, safety equipment and procedures need to be in place to prevent potential incidents that may result in a loss of life
Posted By: Joanne Rawlings
For further details contact:
The Maritime & Coastguard Agency Press Office
023 8032 9401