The boat owner 'repeatedly flouted regulations for commercial gain'

A skipper was handed a 28 day prison sentence –
suspended for two years – and ordered to pay £500 in costs after repeatedly fishing at night without navigation lights.

Dean James Rollason was sentenced at Truro Crown Court, after
pleading guilty to breaches of the International regulations for
Preventing Collisions at Sea at an earlier magistrates court hearing.

Between 8 January 2013 and 3 June
2013, Rollason was observed on five occasions operating a
fishing vessel at sea without navigation lights at night.

The incidents
occurred in the Fowey River, River Camel estuary, Penryn River and off
Looe in Cornwall.

Several agencies reported the sightings to the Maritime and Coastguard
Agency (MCA) who instigated legal action after reviewing the evidence.
Four of the offences were committed in a small fishing vessel Top Dog,
owned by Rollason.

Rollason, age 27, of Bridwell Road, Western Mill, Plymouth, admitted five breaches
of the Merchant Shipping (Distress Signal and Prevention of Collisions)
Regulations 1996 by failing to comply with Rule 23 of the International
Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 197, as amended.

The court was told that Rollason had previously received two police
warnings and been prosecuted on two other occasions for failure to show
navigation lights.

Risky business

In passing sentence, Judge Peter Johnson said: ‘You are an inshore
fisherman that repeatedly flouted regulations for your commercial gain.
Time and time again you flouted the law.

‘Having no navigation lights, you put yourself and other sea-users at risk.’

Captain Andrew Phillips, enforcement officer at the MCA, said: ‘The use
of correct navigation lights is essential to safety at sea and for the
avoidance of collision. Failure to do so places all users of navigable
waters at risk.’

The MCA would like to thank Devon and Cornwall Police, Cornwall Inshore
Fisheries and Conservation Authority, Environment Agency, Fowey Harbour
Commissioners, Marine Management Organisation and Ministry of Defence
Police for their help and assistance in this matter.

Picture: A file image of a fishing boat at night