FISHING VESSEL SKIPPER FOUND GUILTY FOR FAILURE TO KEEP A PROPER LOOKOUT Published: 20 June, 2011
On 23rd July 2009 the British Registered fishing vessel Avalon II, registered in Campbeltown CN690, was reported steaming round in circles in Machrie Bay on the West side of the Island of Arran in the Firth of Clyde.
A full emergency was declared and two lifeboats and a helicopter dispatched to assist.
Two local fishing vessels the Dunanstar and Kelly Emm were able to get quite close alongside, but could see no one on the deck or in the wheelhouse. The Avalon II continued going round in circles at full speed, gradually getting closer and closer to the shore. They went as close as they dared and shouted and whistled until a figure whom they recognised as the skipper appeared in the wheelhouse. He steered the boat away from the shore.
At the Sheriff Court in Kilmarnock on 17th June 2011 he was found guilty of failing to keep a proper lookout.
The skipper was fined £2,000.
On summing up the Sheriff said she did not accept the evidence given by the skipper and crew was credible and although the incident was at the minor end of the scale, it was not that minor.
Captain Kaiser Ali, Area Operations Manager (Scotland West Coast) for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, said: “This was another serious breach of the Collision Regulations and once again reminds all fishermen of the need to maintain a proper lookout at all times. All breaches of the Collision Regulations will be investigated.