From the MCA web site
EASTLEIGH BOROUGH COUNCIL PROSECUTE VESSEL OPERATING WITH SUSPENDED LICENCE IN SOLENT
Yesterday, Southampton Magistrates Court heard the case of Eastleigh Borough Council v Rupert Bonham-Smith. Mr Bonham-Smith of Passage Lane, Warsash, was found guilty of letting for hire his vessel, Spectre of Defeat, while it’s licence was under suspension, under Section 94 of the Public Health Acts (Amendment) Act. He was sentenced to a 6 month conditional discharge and £500 costs.
Mr Bonham-Smith received a Category 2 Local Authority licence allowing him to operate his vessel in the Solent in May 2004 with 10 persons on board including 1 crew. The licence was valid for 5 years. On the 29th June 2004 the licence was suspended by Eastleigh Borough Council following recommendation by both the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and The River Hamble Harbour Master as a result of their safety concerns.
On the weekend of 25th and 26th September 2004 Spectre of Defeat was chartered from Mr Bonham-Smith for £400 while the licence was still under suspension. Hamble River Patrol stopped him on the fuel berth and enquired if the charterer was aware that the vessel did not have a certificate. He was unaware of this fact and the man was then asked to provide his details and appeared as a witness for the prosecution in court yesterday.
Captain Amir Esmiley, Principal Surveyor with the MCA Marine Office says,
“This prosecution illustrates that unlicensed operators which are putting the public’s lives at risk on the water, will be prosecuted. It is an important and timely reminder for the public who may be considering getting afloat during the upcoming maritime festivities in the Solent area. If you are a paying passenger joining a chartered vessel ensure that it is properly certified. Valid certificates should always be held on board the vessels and if you have any doubts, contact the MCA 24 hour information line on 0870 6006505”
Presumably a County Court claim for your refund will be next on the list Steve?