At a hearing today in the County Court Division of South Down, Lindsay Haugh, the Skipper of the fishing vessel Onward N336, was fined a total of £2,500 plus costs of £231 after pleading guilty for failing to keep a proper lookout.
On 12th September 2014 at approximately midnight the fishing vessel Onward N336 was heading back from fishing grounds in thick fog to its home port of Killkeel when it collided with the Clipper Pennant, a Seatruck Ferries vessel at anchor off Carlingford Lough, Northern Ireland.
Lindsay Haugh, aged 44, from Killkeel pleaded guilty to unlawful conduct endangering ships, structures or individuals off Carlingford Lough, contrary to section 58 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995, in that he omitted to monitor the recognised VHF channels, omitted to view radar in reduced visibility and omitted to keep a proper look out and as such omissions were deliberate or amounted to a breach, or neglect of duty.
In passing sentence His Worship District Judge King said “Haugh fully accepted his responsibility and pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.
“Sea collisions are a serious responsibility. You as captain at sea are responsible for the boat, the crew and other persons at sea.
“This is a serious matter and thankfully there was no serious damage or loss of life.”
David Carlisle, Consultant Surveyor at the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) said: “This was a serious avoidable incident. Mr Haugh did not keep an effective watch in what was serious reduced visibility, nor did he observe the warning signals sounded from the Clipper Pennant.”