Pleads guilty at Bodmin Youth Court

A 17-year-old from Newquay who took his father’s fishing boat out with friends has been fined under the Merchant Shipping Act for running down a small rowing dinghy outside Newquay Harbour.

The incident occurred on Saturday 12th September 2009, whilst crowds were watching the Ladies Gig racing from the harbour wall. Jake Gilbert, of Newquay, took his father’s fishing vessel, the ‘Tizzardlee On’ out of the harbour with a number of his friends on board.  At the same time a small rowing dinghy containing a father and his 8 year old son were returning to shore after having moored their vessel in deeper water.

When the dinghy was about 100 yards from the harbour entrance it was hit amidships by the ‘Tizzardlee On’.  Both father and son were thrown from the vessel and both suffered injuries as a result.  They were subsequently rescued from the water by those aboard the ‘Tizzardlee On’.

At a hearing on Monday in Bodmin Youth Court, Gilbert pleaded guilty to a breach of section 58 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995, conduct endangering ships, structures or individuals. He was a given a nine-month referral order.  His parents were ordered to pay £200 pounds compensation each to the dinghy occupants and were also required to pay £500 contribution to prosecution costs.

When giving the orders, the Magistrates said “the collision was caused by your [Jake’s] failure to keep a proper lookout.”

Nigel Blazeby, Principal Fishing Vessel Surveyor Western UK, of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said:

“It was very fortunate indeed that nobody was seriously injured in this incident. Proper and effective lookout at all times is the duty of all in charge of a vessel.”