£7,500 fine for Dover infringement
A chartered angling boat skipper has been fined for traveling the wrong way in the Dover Strait Traffic Separation Scheme.
On 24 March the 'Jolly Fisherman' was monitored by Dover Coastguard traveling in a NE direction in the SW lane of the Dover Strait Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) - contrary to the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972.
Dover Coastguard made several attempts to contact the Jolly Fisherman with no response. During the vessel's passage, it forced several merchant vessels to alter course to avoid a collision.
At a hearing on 7 November at Southampton Magistrates Court, the skipper and owner of the Dover-based charter angling boat was fined £7,500, with costs of £2,254, for traveling 17 miles in the wrong direction in the TSS.
In passing sentence, the Chairman of the Magistrates commented 'It was a serious offence, exacerbated by having paying members of the public aboard - 17 miles is an excessive distance to travel the wrong way.'
The Channel Navigation Information Service (CNIS) Manager at Dover Coastguard added that the TSS is one of the busiest in the world - at the time of the offence, the visibility was very poor and the skipper put his customers and other vessels at significant risk by not obeying the rules.
Details from the MCA below . .