£1,600 for failing to keep a proper lookout

A Scottish fishing vessel ran aground south-west of the Orkney Islands, resulted in a crew member being handed down the fine.

The fishing vessel ‘Reliant’ was steaming on March 17th heading for port when the skipper decided to have one last haul.

In the early hours of the day, the skipper decided he would take a few hours rest before shooting his gear. He handed over to a crew member.

The crew member was not a regular member of the crew and had stood in at the last minute.

At the hearing of the case, the crew member admitted that, at the time, instead of using his rest time to sleep, he had been watching the tsunami disaster in Japan unfolding on tv.

After handing the watch to the crew member, who was overtired, the crew member fell asleep at the wheel. Sheriff Graham Naper, in convicting the crew member who pleaded guilty, stated:

The penalty cannot compensate the owner for the loss of his boat. The statutory maximum fine for summary offences is £10,000. I will deal with it as a first offender as it is very straight forward. I believe that the appropriate level is £2,000 discounted for an early plea of guilty to £1,600.

Dermot Conway
contact Dermot at 0214901000 or dermot@conways.ie