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Old 03 April 2004, 17:47   #1
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Owner of charter yacht prosecuted

From the MCGA web site:-

Press Notice No: 073/04
Wednesday, March 31, 2004
Posted 16:13 GMT
OWNER OF CHARTER YACHT PROSECUTED

At a hearing today at Southampton Magistrates Court Mr Alan Taylor, age 56 from Bournemouth, owner of sailing yacht ‘Octette’, pleaded guilty to breaching the Merchant Shipping (Vessels in Commercial Use for Sport or Pleasure) Regulations 1998. Octette was on private hire through Mr Taylor to the Skipper and his family for a fee of £600 for 7 days.

The charges were brought following discovery that Mr Taylor did not have a valid Code of Practice Certificate or have any certificates to show that his yacht complied with legislation such as Life Saving Appliance Regulations or Load Line Regulations.

The MCA instigated the investigation after Octette collided with another yacht in the Solent, whilst on charter on 20th July 2002. Mr Taylor tried to claim from his Insurance Company for the damaged caused to his yacht, but found the policy to be invalid because Octette was on charter.

The safety regulations that cover such craft are contained in the MCA Code of Practice known as the Blue Code, and are intended to protect the public by ensuring, amongst other things, that the correct safety equipment, watertight integrity and stability and crew competence is in place.

Magistrates heard how Mr Taylor contacted the Royal Yachting Association to suspend the Code of Practice certificate, claiming it was not to be used commercially.

Upon sentencing the Magistrate told the court that this offence is considered at the higher end of a technical offence.

Mr Taylor was fined £600 and ordered to pay £1200 costs.

Alan Fairney, Deputy Director of Operations for the MCA said:

“The Codes of Practice offer small commercial vessel operators a simple way of complying with the necessary safety regulations. The MCA monitors compliance with these Codes and takes action against rogue operators who put the public at serious risk or danger. I hope that today’s case will act as a deterrent to all charter operators who ignore the regulations.”
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Old 03 April 2004, 18:35   #2
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It's good tht ty take action but if the fine is 600 quid with 1200 costs that's a lot cheeper than coding a yacht!

Fine should be a lot stiffer IMHO


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ribald
From the MCGA web site:-

Press Notice No: 073/04
Wednesday, March 31, 2004
Posted 16:13 GMT
OWNER OF CHARTER YACHT PROSECUTED

At a hearing today at Southampton Magistrates Court Mr Alan Taylor, age 56 from Bournemouth, owner of sailing yacht ‘Octette’, pleaded guilty to breaching the Merchant Shipping (Vessels in Commercial Use for Sport or Pleasure) Regulations 1998. Octette was on private hire through Mr Taylor to the Skipper and his family for a fee of £600 for 7 days.

The charges were brought following discovery that Mr Taylor did not have a valid Code of Practice Certificate or have any certificates to show that his yacht complied with legislation such as Life Saving Appliance Regulations or Load Line Regulations.

The MCA instigated the investigation after Octette collided with another yacht in the Solent, whilst on charter on 20th July 2002. Mr Taylor tried to claim from his Insurance Company for the damaged caused to his yacht, but found the policy to be invalid because Octette was on charter.

The safety regulations that cover such craft are contained in the MCA Code of Practice known as the Blue Code, and are intended to protect the public by ensuring, amongst other things, that the correct safety equipment, watertight integrity and stability and crew competence is in place.

Magistrates heard how Mr Taylor contacted the Royal Yachting Association to suspend the Code of Practice certificate, claiming it was not to be used commercially.

Upon sentencing the Magistrate told the court that this offence is considered at the higher end of a technical offence.

Mr Taylor was fined £600 and ordered to pay £1200 costs.

Alan Fairney, Deputy Director of Operations for the MCA said:

“The Codes of Practice offer small commercial vessel operators a simple way of complying with the necessary safety regulations. The MCA monitors compliance with these Codes and takes action against rogue operators who put the public at serious risk or danger. I hope that today’s case will act as a deterrent to all charter operators who ignore the regulations.”
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Old 04 April 2004, 09:37   #3
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A similar incident happened in Greece last year on the Island of Mykonos. Someone similar mentality to Mr Taylor hired a RIB out without having any insurance for commercial operation nor his craft to be endorsed by the Hellenic Coastguard for such an operation.
The guy who was driving the RIB collided with a jet ski. The jet skier was injured heavily.
The result, the RIB was confiscated by the Coastguard, the owner of the RIB was fined over Euro 300,000.00 and he got 5 year jail sentence too and the driver got a fine of Euro 100,000.00 and two years in jail
Mr Taylor got out of it VERY LIGHTLY.
Makes me wonder, did he know the judge??
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Old 04 April 2004, 11:57   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogue Wave
It's good tht ty take action but if the fine is 600 quid with 1200 costs that's a lot cheeper than coding a yacht!

Fine should be a lot stiffer IMHO
Don't forget though, the prosecution came about from his insurence claim. So he has also got to pay for the damage to his yacht himself, and if I was the family that he had chartered to, I would be after some for of compensation myself.
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Old 16 April 2004, 13:29   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gingercoastie
Don't forget though, the prosecution came about from his insurence claim. So he has also got to pay for the damage to his yacht himself, and if I was the family that he had chartered to, I would be after some for of compensation myself.
Hi Ginge

I take your point that he will suffer financially from other avenues, but the fact remains that he didn't get much of a fine. It costs me the best part of 3k to code and insure a rib I suspect a yacht would be more.

If I don't spend the 3k then you guys are gonna fine me 600 quid, I reckon it should be at least the cost of coding the boat minus what relevant equipment you have on board, after all are talking about taking measures to preserve life here

Compare this with the punishment for getting caught running on red diesel, hardly a life threatining crime, confiscation of vehicle calculation of back duty owed a standard fine , and you have to spend a weekend with David Manning plane spotting in Greece.

The point being that if the fine isn't big it's easy to justify not complying with the regs. Then we all have to compete with the cowboys like Atlantic-Web take a look at their charter boat and you'll see what I mean

I am all for the regulations providing they are not silly, but if you are in the charter business and you don't comply with them , it should hurt when you get caught.

Bring back the cat as me mum would say

Cheers
Stuart
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Old 16 April 2004, 14:49   #6
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Ging still don't think that he paid much at all.
To pass my RIBs as commercially operated boats in Greece (where is cheaper than the UK) it will cost me 2,000-2,500 Euros each plus the surveys every year there after which also costs 500 for each RIB.

To show you how stricked things are here have a look at a couple of points that we've got to conform with:

1. RIBs for charter should be new and not more than a year old when they are registered for commercial operation.
2. Main and aux engines should be new when the boat is registered for commercial operation.
3. RIBs should be changed every five years after registration and replaced with new or at least one year old.
4. Engines should be changed after 5 years after registration and replaced with new.
5. Service receipts of engines should be kept and engines should be serviced ONLY by authorised engineers by the manufacturers.
6. RIBs and engines should be surveyed every year by the Coastguard and also by a surveyor representing an internationally recognised classification society.
and the list goes on and on about security, what safety equipment you should have onboard, how many pax, insurance, antipollution insurance etc etc!!
Fines do not have an upper limit but can start from Euro 500-600 minimum to whatever the Coastguard decides on the spot (it is known to reach 6 figure sums) and the boat is confiscated whatever the fine will be!

Now how many countries have just similar regulations to those??

Is an expensive business but makes people feeling secure and safe in the knowledge that when they hire a RIB (these regulations apply ONLY to RIBs) the chances of it braking down are very remote (unlike the RIBs and engines of at least one operator I know of - no names as he knows who he is )
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Old 16 April 2004, 16:40   #7
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"unlike the RIBs and engines of at least one operator I know of - no names as he knows who he is"

Ha, just wiat until your ribs are six months old and things start to go wrong. Charter ribs break down because of the very hard life they run and if they are bareboat driven by people who haven't a clue.

Go on name him but only if your sure you will not suffer a similar fate.

Pete
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Old 17 April 2004, 05:07   #8
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Sorry Pete will disappoint you.
I have shorted out a repair contract with Yamaha that I have 3 spare 115bhp engines availiable at all times if needed. Regarding servicing engines the local Yamaha engineer is availiable for same day repairs any time 24hrs/day for the months I operate.
Regarding servicing the RIBs hull and pontoons have a contract with a local yard that will repair the RIBs on the day.
ALSO, the RIBs are insured for loss of earnings in case of damage by one of the 'expert skippers' so I'm laughing
As far as the 'other' person with the old (over 10 years I'm told with delapidated outboards) RIBs sorry can't name him or his company. Is not right
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Old 29 July 2004, 14:56   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogue Wave
The point being that if the fine isn't big it's easy to justify not complying with the regs. Then we all have to compete with the cowboys like Atlantic-Web take a look at their charter boat and you'll see what I mean
IStuart
Spill the beans on atlantic-web are you refering to their avon 'specre of defeat'. That boat looks very tired and has been for sale fo a huge amount of money, and the engine was for sale at one point.

Alex
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Old 29 July 2004, 20:06   #10
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You have kind of summed it up, basically I think they should concentrate on Broking and not running an inferior charter operation.
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