Ship’s captain prosecuted following serious incident in the Dover strait – Fishupdate.com

Ship’s captain prosecuted following serious incident in the Dover strait Published:  09 January, 2006

THE Maritime and Coastguard Agency prosecuted the master of a coaster in Plymouth Magistrates Court following an incident in the vicinity of the Sandettie Bank in the Dover Strait on New Year’s Day. Yuriy Moskalenko, aged 40 from the Ukraine, pleaded guilty to a breach of section 58 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 (conduct endangering ships, structures or persons). He was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,500.The Panamanian registered coaster ‘Dreamer 1’ had left Kings Lynn on the 31 December 2005 with a cargo of scrap. The vessel was bound for Plymouth to load bunkers before heading on to Spain. At about 0530 on the 1 January 2006, ‘Dreamer 1’ had reported into the Channel Navigation Information Service (CNIS). The vessel then entered the South West lane in the vicinity of the South Falls buoy on a southerly course. However, an expected alteration to follow the lane did not occur. Over the next hour the ‘Dreamer 1’ was seen to be making several large alterations of course in the Deep Water Route of the North East lane and the Sandettie Bank separation zone. The vessel then passed very close to the Sandettie Light Vessel on a southerly course. For the next 20 minutes the ‘Dreamer 1’ manoeuvred in the NE lane before finally settling on a westerly course. Throughout the incident attempts had been made to contact the ‘Dreamer 1’ however difficulties were experienced in understanding the vessel. Owing to concerns about the vessel, a UK Coastguard Emergency Towing Vessel and a French Coastguard Helicopter were dispatched to the vessel. It was claimed that the vessel had suffered a steering gear failure and that there was a problem with the VHF radio on the ‘Dreamer 1’, however there was a back up and several portable VHF radio available. The ‘Dreamer 1’ arrived at Plymouth on the afternoon on the 2 January 2006. An investigation was commenced by the Enforcement Unit of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

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