Flushing Ferry company and skipper fined for safety breaches
The operators of Flushing passenger ferry and its skipper have been fined over a series of safety breaches after an allegation it was carrying too many passengers.
Flushing Ferry Ltd, based in Kenwyn Road, Truro, and skipper Gareth Hudson appeared at Truro Magistrates Court this morning facing charges relating to its boat Miranda.
Guilty pleas were entered to the breaches of maritime safety legislation and they were ordered to pay a total of £12.030 in fines and costs.
The Falmouth Marine Office of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) received a complaint from a member of the public claiming that the ferry had been carrying more passengers than permitted on the April 30 2011.
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Footage was recorded on a mobile phone of the ferry arriving at the Prince of Wales pier jetty showing 28 passengers gettng off, that it was crewed soley by Mr Hudson and that it was not secured to the jetty while the passengers disembarked.
But an investigation by the enforcement unit of the MCA determined that the number on board were within the numbers permitted on the Passenger Certificate.
However it did highlight other breaches.
Mr Hudson, 39, from Perranarworthal, did not hold the appropriate qualification, a Boat Master License (BML), and was alone, when the terms of the Passenger Certificate required two suitably qualified crew to be on board.
On August 10 the same year two more complaints about overloading were made, although both proved false, however it was found Mr Hudson was again alone on board.
The companyadmitted two charges of employing an unqualified skipper under Merchant Shipping safety legislation. They were fined £2,500 and ordered to pay costs totalling £3,015.
Mr Hudson admitted six charges covering sailing as skipper while unqualified, sailing without sufficient crew and conduct endangering vessels and people and was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay costs totalling £3,515.
Tony Helsop, the MCA's area operations manager South West area said: "It is essential that a vessel is properly secured alongside so that passengers can safely get off and on. Properly qualified crew in the correct numbers is also essential to ensure the safety of the travelling public."