SHIP'S CAPTAIN PROSECUTED FOR SERIOUS INCIDENT IN THE DOVER STRAIT NEW YEARS DAY
Defendant: Captain MOSKALENKO in Plymouth Magistrates Court on 6th January 2006.
Date of Offence: January 1st 2006
Offence: Breach of Section 58 'Conduct Endangering Ships, Structures or Individuals' of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995.
Details: Yuriy Moskalenko, aged 40 from the Ukraine, pleaded guilty to a breach of section 58 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 at Plymouth Magistrates Court Friday 6th January 2006. The 'Dreamer 1’left Kings Lynn on the 31 December 2005 with a cargo of scrap bound for Plymouth. At about 0530 on the 1 January 2006, ‘Dreamer 1’ had reported into the Channel Navigation Information Service (CNIS). The vessel then entered the South West lane in the vicinity of the South Falls buoy on a southerly course. However, an expected alteration to follow the lane did not occur.
Over the next hour the ‘Dreamer 1’ was seen to be making several large alterations of course in the Deep Water Route of the North East lane and the Sandettie Bank separation zone. The vessel then passed very close to the Sandettie Light Vessel on a southerly course.
For the next 20 minutes the ‘Dreamer 1’ manoeuvred in the NE lane before finally settling on a westerly course. Throughout the incident attempts had been made to contact the ‘Dreamer 1’ however difficulties were experienced in understanding the vessel. ‘Dreamer 1’ re-entered the South West lane at 0815 and resumed its passage to Plymouth. The whole incident lasted two and three-quarter hours.
Owing to concerns about the ‘Dreamer 1’, the UK Coastguard Emergency Towing Vessel ‘Anglian Monarch’ and a French Coastguard Helicopter were dispatched to the vessel.
It was claimed that the vessel had suffered a steering gear failure and that it was ‘safer’ to continue steaming at 4 to 7 knots rather than stopping the vessel while sorting out the problem. It was also claimed that there was a problem with the VHF radio on the ‘Dreamer 1’, however there was a back up and several portable VHF radio available.
The ‘Dreamer 1’ arrived at Plymouth on the afternoon on the 2 January 2006. Where an investigation was commenced by the Enforcement Unit of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
In passing sentence the Magistrates said: “Obvious consequences of this incident could have been catastrophic, actions of others and good fortune meant that nothing happened."
Penalty: Fined £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,500.
SHIP'S CAPTAIN SENT TO JAIL
Defendant: Captain Adrian FERICEL.
Date of offence: Goodwin Sands 12th February 2006 and New Holland on the River Humber on the 15th February 2006.
Offence: breaches of the alcohol provisions of the Railway and Transport Safety Act 2003 and section 58 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995, as amended.
Details: Adrian Fericel, a Romanian national aged 45, was sentenced to four months for the grounding of his ship, and seven months for the drink offence. These sentences are to run concurrently. Fericel has already been in custody for thirty five days. The vessel grounded on the Goodwin Sands. Examination of the radar records at Dover showed that the Kathrin had crossed normally from the North East lane of the Dover Traffic Separation Scheme into the English inshore traffic zone. However, instead of altering course to continue its passage up to the Humber, the `Kathrin maintained its course. Ten minutes after narrowly missing the East Goodwin Light Vessel, the `Kathrin ran aground on the Goodwin Sands. The vessel remained aground for 20 minutes before re-floating itself and re-commencing its passage to the north of England. Dover Coastguard was not contacted at any time during this incident.
In awarding the sentence and summing up Mr Recorder S.M.
Jackson QC said:
Penalty: 11 Months custodial sentence.
CAPTAIN PLEADS GUILTY
Defendant: Captain P. G. LEASK In Lerwick Court on 19th Aptil 2006.
Date of offence: September 3rd 2005
Offence: Breaches of the alcohol provisions of the Railway and Transport Safety (RATS) Act 2003, Section 58 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 as amended and a pollution control offence put by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).
Details: At quarter to ten on the evening of the 3rd September 2005, Shetland Coastguard received a mayday call from the Emergency Towing Vessel 'Anglian Sovereign' reporting that she had run aground.
The vessel is owned and operated by Klyne Tugs of Lowestoft. Shetland Coastguard broadcasted a mayday relay and scrambled the Coastguard rescue helicopter 'Oscar Charlie' from Sumburgh and also requested the launch of the Aith RNLI lifeboat.The helicopter evacuated thirteen non essential crew to Tingwall. The Anglian Sovereign ran aground on the island of Oxna causing some initial pollution as she was re-floated. The skipper was breathalysed and arrested by the police. The pollution was caused by 90 cubic metres of marine gas oil and affected local fisheries.
Captain LEASK appeared in Lerwick court on April 19th 2006 for sentencing Sheriff Graham NAPIER said "You pleaded guilty to three serious offences and they lie fairly at your door"
Penalty: 8 months custodial sentence.
ONE CAPTAIN JAILED AND ANOTHER FINED FOR BEING OVER THE PRESCRIBED LIMIT OF ALCOHOL
Defendant: Captain Milan Mrsik, in Grimsby Crown Court on 28th April 2006.
Date of Offence:22nd March 2006.
Offence: breaches of the alcohol provisions of the Railway and Transport Safety Act 2003.
Details: Captain Mrsik had a reading of 155 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath when his vessel the ‘Leader 1’ arrived at Immingham .The legal limit being 35 microgrammes.
Penalty: Four months, which was reduced to two months for good behavior and suspended.
Defendant: Captain Lampos Tzachanis, in Grimsby Crown Court on 28th April 2006.
Date of Offence: 4th April 2006.
Offence: breaches of the alcohol provisions of the Railway and Transport Safety Act 2003.
Details: Captain Tzachanis, 58 of Greece, of the vessel ‘Centaurus’ was also found to be over the prescribed limit, whilst the vessel was in Immingham.
Penalty: Fined £2000 and costs of £300
RACING SKIPPER FINED FOR GOING THE WRONG WAY UP A SHIPPING TRAFFIC LANE
Defendant: Antoine KOCH in Thames Magistrates on Friday 5th May 2006.
Date of Offence: Tuesday 2nd May 2006.
Offence: Breach of the International Regulations for Preventing Collision at Sea 1972.
Details: The Sopra No.8 skippered by Frenchman Antoine Koch (28) from Fousenant in Brittany left Brighton for Londons Canary Wharf. The purpose of the trip was to position the vessel for an international yacht race due to start on Monday 8th May from the Thames barrier.
A Traffic Separation scheme was introduced in the Dover Strait in 1972, which effectively creates a dual carriageway through what is one of the busiest waterways in the world. Rule 10(b)(i) of the COLREGS forbids vessels from going the wrong way down a traffic lane.
Last Tuesday morning the Sopra No 8 was travelling quite correctly along
the English coast. However at approximately 0800 UTC the vessel crossed the separation line and entered
the Southwest lane but was travelling in a north easterly direction. The vessel remained in the lane
for approximately 2 hours and travelled nearly 18 miles the wrong way up the lane. During this period
Mr Koch met 21 other vessels coming down the lane and two crossing vessels. He caused 7 of these vessels
to take evasive action. One encounter with a crossing vessel caused particular concern.
FISHING VESSEL THE GEORGE RAMSDON TAKEN TO SEA IN BREACH OF A DETENTION NOTICE
Defendant: Mr Colin Burnett in Oban Sheriff Court 8th May 2006.
Date of Offence: June 2005.
Offence: Breach of a detention notice.
Details: The charges arose after the George Ramsdon was inspected by Sector Manager, Phil Wrenn, of the MCA, in October 2004. A number of serious deficiencies were noted including; no life jackets, no life buoys and out of date flares. Mr Burnett was advised of the significance of the deficiencies, but continued to fish commercially. On February 1st 2005 a detention order was delivered to Mr Burnett, but still he persisted in fishing.
Sheriff Ruth Anderson said in summing up that the legislation was there for a purpose. She had heard from the Crown and from the defense. She noted that the MCA had made charges fairly and imposed a fine of £500 to be paid at £50.00 per month.
The safety equipment was finally purchased in May 2005 and the detention order was lifted. Mr Burnett sailed for Mull in June 2005 and the vessel sank en-route. Mr Burnett was rescued by a lifeboat and it was found that his life had been saved by the lifejacket and life buoys which kept him afloat until the rescuers arrived.
Penalty: £500 Fine.
DRIVER PLEADS GUILTY TO TWO CHARGES AND FINED £2000 FOR TAKING CARGO OF SULPHURIC ACID ONBPARD FERRY
Defendant: Fred Willi Reinhard FOURMONT in Folkstone Magistrates 18th May 2006
Date of offence: 11th May 2006
Offence: Merchant Shipping (Dangerous Goods and Marine Pollutants) regulations 1997.
Details: On Thursday 11 May 2006, Mr Fourmonts the driver of a (employed driver) silver VW Golf Estate car was stopped after crossing the English Channel from Calais to Dover aboard the ferry `Pride of Burgundy. The car was found to contain 12 large plastic containers which held 300Kg of Sulphuric Acid. This substance is classified under the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code as Class 8 Corrosive. The only occupant of the car was the defendant Mr Fourmont.
It is a requirement of the IMDG code that the carriage of such substances aboard a vessel is declared to the shipping company in order to ensure that the vehicle carrying it is stowed in an appropriate place on board the vessel and so that the crew can deal with it in the appropriate manner should any incident or emergency occur aboard the vessel. For the same reason it is also a requirement that the vehicle itself is properly placarded.
Mr Fourmont boarded the vessel in Calais using a tourist ticket and did not declare his cargo.and had covered the cargo with a blanket. Mr Fourmont should have gone through the freight check in, so that the Dangerous Goods could be dealt with in the correct manner.
In passing sentence the Magistrates said,
Penalty: £2,000 fine and £1,000 costs.
17 YEAR OLD MARINE HOAXER RECEIVES COMMUNITY SERVICE
Defendant: Mr Sean Johnstone in Oban Sheriffs Court 17th June 2006.
Date of Offence: 2nd June 2006
Offence: Hoax Call
Details: The 999 call from a telephone box at Achnacroish
which had been received at 10.25 pm at the Coastguard Rescue Co-ordination Centre at Greenock reported
that 12 young people needed assistance to get off the island of Lismore, and that some people were injured
and required urgent assistance. However this later was proved to be incorrect and that the call was
treated as a hoax.
Penalty: 200 hrs Community Service
THREE SHIPS ENGINEERING OFFICERS ARE STRIPPED OF QUALIFICATIONS
Defendant: Avilano Alves, Pervez Rafique Modak and Tahir Malik Mahmood.(also known as Tahir Mahmood Malik), Central London Civil Justice Centre 28th July 2006.
Date of offence: Tuesday 22nd October 2002
Offence: Merchant Shipping Act 1995, Section 61-Inquiry into Fitness or Conduct of Officer
Details: On 22/10/2002 an Applied Heat exam for
engineers was being undertaken at a UK College. At the end of the exam the Invigilator was collecting
papers when he noticed that a candidate had two exam workbooks on his desk. In accordance with exam
rules both papers were collected in and passed on to an examiner for marking. On inspection by the marker,
he discovered that the exam paper had differing sets of handwriting on the inside and the front of the
workbook. The second non-exam paper had the candidateds handwriting inside and the front of the workbook
and that it also contained the questions to a previous exam. The suspicions of the marker were passed
on to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
In making his ruling at Central London Civil Justice Centre today, Mr
Persey accepted that the behaviour of these three individuals was misconduct of the most serious kind.
Mr Persey also went on to say that he considered that there can be no place in the UK Merchant Navy
for those who are found knowingly to have participated in a dishonest abuse of the examination system.
Captain Roger Towner, Chief Examiner at the Maritime & Coastguard
Penalty: Cancellation of the UK Certificates of
Competency belonging to:
He further recommended that they should not be allowed to resit any examinations leading to a UK Certificate of Competency for 5 years.
For the full Ruling click here
YACHT SKIPPER Christopher RINGDAHL PROSECUTED
Defendant: Christopher RINGDAHL in Southampton Crown Court 06th September 2006.
Date of offence: Thursday 11th September 2003 or some other day before this date.
Offence: Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981.
Details: On 31st January 2002 the certification
arrangements for yachtsmen and women wishing to obtain a UK Certificate of Competency changed. The requirements
of the new system were more demanding. However in order to assist in the changeover, transitional arrangements
were put in place which ended on 31st July 2003.
Captain Roger Towner, Chief Examiner and Head of Seafarers Standard
at the MCA, stated that
Penalty: £500 Fine and £9,500 Costs.
MASTER PLEADS GUILTY TO BREACH OF RULE 10 (d) (i) OF THE INTERNATIONAL REGULATIONS FOR PREVENTING COLLISIONS AT SEA 1972
Defendant: Captain Stanislaw KURCZYN in Maidstone Crown Court 12th Septmeber 2006.
Date of Offence: Monday 9th May 2005.
Offence: Breach of Rule 10(d)(i) of the COLREGS 1972.
Details: Captain Stanislaw Kurczyn admitted to navigating
his vessel, the 1,394 deadweight tonne cargo ship UNION ARROW, in the English Inshore Traffic Zone (EITZ)
on 9th May 2005 whilst on passage from Littlehampton to Dunkerque and thereby contravening Rule 10(d)(i)
of the Colregs.
Penalty: £500 Fine and £1,000 Costs.
TWO SKIPPERS FINED FOR A COLLISION IN THE IRISH SEA
Defendants: William Orr and Phillip McMullen in Newtonards Magistrates Court 5th October 2006.
Date of offence: Monday 20th June 2005.
Offence: William Orr - Breach of Collision at sea.
Offence: Phillip McMullen - 1-Breach of Collision Regulation Rule 5, 2-a breach of the Merchant Shipping vessel safety training regulations 3-failure to secure the safe operation of the ship.
Details: On the 20th June 2005 both vessels were
in a group of about twelve boats fishing for prawns off the North West coast of the Isle of Man. The
Aspire and Boy Stuart were found to be using a GPS system that converted the signal into decca lane
Penalty: William Orr - £500 fine and £500 costs.
Penalty: Phillip McMullen-Fined for charge (1) £1,000, Charge (2) £500 Charge (3) £500 and £500 costs.
OWNER/SKIPPER PROSECUTED FOR CARRIAGE OF PASSENGERS WITHOUT CERTIFICATION
Defendant: Christopher Bennett in Wick Caithness Sheriff Court 11th October 2006
Date of offence: Saturday 21st January 2006.
Offence: Operating a vessel without the appropriate certification.
Details: On 21st January 2006 a prohibition notice
was served on the owner/skipper of the MV Hebridean Warrior, Mr Bennett, to prevent him going to sea
with passengers until the boat either had a load line certificate, or was coded against the requirement
of the code of practice for the safety of small motor vessels in commercial use. Mr Bennett ignored
the prohibition notice and an investigation into his activities was undertaken by the enforcement unit.
The Hebridean Warrior had been operating out of Scrabster in Northern
Scotland since around 2001. Initial efforts to have the boat surveyed and certificated were not completed,
but the boat continued to operate during most weekends of the year.
Mr Paul Fairbrother, Head of the Fishing & Code Vessel Safety Branch
of the MCA said Mr Bennett was given every opportunity to comply with the legislation, but he repeatedly
ignored that advice. This penalty will send a message to all operators of boats who carry up to twelve
passengers that they must comply with the legislation. Failure to do so is viewed by the MCA and by
the courts as a very serious matter.
Penalty: Fine £1,000
WATCHKEEPER PROSECUTED FOR FALLING ASLEEP AND CAUSING THE BOAT TO GROUND ON THE ISLE OF MUCK
Defendant: Mr MacLean in Oban Sheriff Court 12th October 2006.
Date of offence: Sunday 3rd April 2005.
Offence: Breach of Rule 5 of the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS) 1972
Details: The fisfing vessel Aquila OB74 sailed from Tobermory on the morning of the 3rd April 2005. Three hours later she struck the North West coast of the Island of Muck, where she broke up and sank.
When the boat sailed from Tobermory the skipper and Thomas McKie went to their beds, leaving the navigation to Neil McLean who was to call them when they reached the fishing grounds in three to four hours. Mr McLean admitted that he had put his feet up onto the console and then fell asleep.
The skipper Malcolm MacLean and two other crew members were all rescued.
Mr MacLean pleaded guilty to failing to keep a proper lookout and Sheriff Small indicated that he would sentence him with a fine and gave him until October 2006 to save up..
Penalty: £600.00 Fine.
CODE BOAT OPERATES OUTSIDE CERTIFICATION LIMITS
Defendant: Ian Trumpass in Kirkwall Sheriff Court 2nd November 2006.
Date of offence: Tuesday 14th June 2005.
Offence: Breach of Section 100 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995
Details: Ian Trumpess the owner skipper of the MV Invincible took a party of amateur radio enthusiasts from Stromness to Rockall, a distance of more than 200 miles out into the North Atlantic Ocean, despite having been told by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) that his boat was not suitable for the voyage.
The group booked the Invincible after finding a web site which advertised that Mr Trumpess had undertaken a similar voyage in the past. They first met with Mr Trumpess when they arrived in Stromness on the 11th June.The group arrived at Rockall on the 16th where the amateur radio enthusiasts made a series of radio transmissions before returning to Stromness.
In Kirkwall Sheriff Court yesterday Mr Trumpess pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to operate the ship in a safe manner, under the Merchant Shipping Act 1995.
He accepted that he had failed to take all reasonable steps to secure the safe operation of the vessel in that it sailed beyond the distance that it, the skipper, or the crew were qualified to go and without adequate means of communication.
In summing up Sheriff G Napier said:
This was a reckless and foolhardy escapade, especially since you knew that you had been told not to proceed by the MCA. You took people to where there was a real danger and considerable doubt as to your ability to cope in an emergency.
Tom Borland MCA Operations Manager for Scotland and Northern Ireland said: The vessel, its equipment and crew were not suitable to undertake this voyage. The punishment imposed by the court should send a strong message to the operators of this type of craft that such irresponsible behaviour will not be ignored by the MCA.
FRENCH FERRY PROSECUTED FOR POLLUTION
Defendant: MV DIEPPE operated by Transmanche Southampton
Magistrates Tuesday 14th November 2006.
Date of offence: Wednesday 11th August 2004.
Details: On the morning of 11th August 2004, a French
customs helicopter was conducting a routine patrol in the English Channel when it observed an oil slick.
The aircraft followed the oil slick and found it to be coming from the French ro-ro ferry MV DIEPPE.
At the time of the sighting the MV DIEPPE was approximately 8.5 nautical miles south-south-east of Beach
Head. Photographs were taken and a report made to the MCA. The incident occurred in UK waters.
Penalty: Fine £15,000 and £9,373.27 Costs.
Note: The MCA would like to thank the Gendarmerie Maritime (Le Havre) and The Brigade de surveillance aéromaritime (Division Garde-Cotes Manche-Mer du Nord) for their assistance and co-operation.
MV MEMEL PROSECUTED FOR A BREACH OF COLLISION AT SEA REGULATIONS
Defendant: Captain Grushkevych, Great Yarmouth Magistrates Court Tuesady 11th December 2006.
Date of offence: Saturday 12th August 2006.
Offence: Breach of the Convention on the International Regulations For Preventing Collisions At Sea 1972, Rule 10 (c).
Details: On the 12th of August the M/V MEMEL was on route to the UK port of Lowestoft and en route at 0350hrs UTC the Memel was in the North East Traffic lane of the Dover Straits Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS ). At this time the vessel made radio contact with Dover Coastguard and informed them that he was going to cross the TSS on a course of 008 degrees. Dover Coastguard informed him that to cross on that heading would contravene the Collision Regulations.
The Memel made no reply to this information and continued on its proposed course. At approximately 0405 UTC the Memel entered the South West Lane heading on a course heading of between 005 and 008 degrees. On route across the South West lane the Memel encountered three other vessels travelling in a South Westerly direction, her course and direction placed her in conflict with these vessels.
Dover Coastguard again contacted the vessel by radio and informed the master that his current course was in contravention of the Collision Regulations.
Once clear of the other vessels the Memel did make an alteration of course to 345 – 350 degrees and eventually left the TSS.
MR UVINDRA PARANA PALLIYA GURUGE PLEADS GUILTY TO FORGERY CHARGES
Defendand: Uvindra Parana Palliya GURUGE, Reading Crown Court, Thursday 14th December 2006.
Date of offence: Various.
Details: At the beginning of March 2006, the Seafarer Standards section of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) received an application from Mr Guruge to sit an oral examination leading to a Masters (Unlimited) Certificate of Competency. He supported his application by supplying his Discharge Book, Certificates of Service and Watch Keeping Certificates. The MCA carried out routine checks on these documents which showed discrepancies in sea time claimed for two vessels. The managers of the vessels involved were contacted and they confirmed that Mr Guruge had not been on the vessels for the time claimed.
Mr Guruge was arrested on 11th April 2006 at Slough Police Station. When questioned he admitted that he manufactured four documents. Mr Guruge also admitted making two false entries in his Discharge Book. As a result Mr Guruge was charged with five forgery offences. He had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing in the Magistrates Court where the matter was adjourned to the Crown Court for sentencing
Captain Roger Towner, Chief Examiner at the Maritime & Coastguard Agency said,This was a well thought out and planned attempt to circumvent the certification requirements
Penalty: 200 Hours community service and £250.00 costs.