Fifteen boaters have been fined a total of £5,886 after being caught using the River Thames without a licence.
Fifteen boaters have been fined a total of £5,886 after being caught using the River Thames without a licence. Three more boaters are awaiting prosecution.
The prosecutions in 2005 follow the Environment Agency’s ‘Don’t be a Toad’ campaign to tackle unlicenced boaters cruising the 135-mile stretch of river. The campaign features Mr Toad of The Wind in the Willows, and has seen the number of illegal boaters drop from 715 in 2004 to 623 in 2005.
The 623 boats not registered last year amounted to a potential loss of £107,913. Eileen McKeever, Thames Waterway manager, said: ‘Most boaters caught without licences do pay their fee after receiving a warning, but the few who don’t end up in court. Boat registration fees are a valuable source of our income and help us maintain the river so millions can enjoy it every year.’
The Environment Agency is working with the Surrey Police on a new joint initiative to stamp out crime on the River Thames, to manage illegal moorers and to deter boaters who do not register their boats.
To register your boat call the Craft Registration team on 0118 953 5650 or speak to your local lock keeper for more information.