Court takes hard line on safety offences

Published by FiskerForum, 22-02-2017 · info@fiskerforum.dk

A fishing vessel owner has been handed a 12-month sentence for fishing safety offences, plus a 3-month suspended sentence.

Shane Barton was sentenced by Plymouth Crown Court last week after pleading guilty to a number of offences under maritime safety laws. He is the owner and skipper of the Nicky Noo, which was registered in the UK.

On several occasions between 22nd May 2014 and 20th October 2016 in Christchurch, Fowey and Castlebridge respectively, he was subject to enforcement action from various fisheries agencies and police.

Information supplied about various incidents that happened between 22nd May 2014 and 13th February 2016 showed that Shane Barton was operating his vessel without navigation lights, safety equipment and properly trained skipper and crew.

On the 16th October 2016, the safety certification for the Nicky Noo expired but the vessel was seen operating by a local Fisheries Officer four days later and the vessel was reported to the Maritime & Coastguard Agency.

In passing sentence, HHJ Lawrie said Shane Barton was complacent and arrogant, that his failings were deliberate and he had cut corners, adding that Barton had a cavalier attitude to the safety of the crew and the vessel.

Shane Barton pleaded guilty to three charges of the unsafe operation of a fishing vessel and one charge of breaching a Prohibition Notice requiring him to have completed the required safety training.

He was sentenced to a total of 15 months of which half will be served in prison.

The MCA investigation was greatly assisted by Southern IFCA, Devon & Severn IFCA, Cornwall IFCA, the Marine Management Organisation, Environment Agency, Dorset Police and Devon & Cornwall Police.

‘The operation of a vessel at night without navigation lights is not only illegal but is a foolhardy and dangerous act. It not only placed his own vessel in danger but those operating around him too,’ said Tony Heslop, area operations manager for the south west with the Maritime & Coastguard Agency.

‘This case shows that agencies operation in the maritime world can and do work together to improve safety at sea. I would like to thank all the agencies involved in this case for their help and assistance in bring this matter to a successful conclusion.’

Source: HM Coastguard

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