Monday, 20 April 2015


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.”

Sunday, 19 April 2015


The search continues this morning for the kayaker who has been missing since yesterday evening.

Hillhead and Portsmouth Coastguard Rescue Teams are undertaking shoreline searches; the Coastguard helicopter from Lee on Solent is searching along the coastline and out into the Solent;  Lymington Lifeboat is searching and the Coastguard is making broadcasts to all shipping, requesting that they keep a sharp lookout for the kayak and missing person.


The Coastguard helicopter, Coastguard Rescue Teams and lifeboats are searching for a missing kayaker tonight after he was reported as overdue to the Coastguard. The kayaker left from Hillhead and has not returned as expected.

Ash Rawson, Controller at the National Maritime Operations Centre at Fareham says:

“We are searching for a kayaker who was expected home last night (18th). A vessel has been in contact with us to report a possible sighting and we are following up on this report as well as continuing our indepth search of the area with multiple agencies.”

Saturday, 18 April 2015


A lifeboat, two helicopters, coastguard rescue teams and a Fire and Rescue Service hovercraft all responded to a Coastguard request to attend an unfolding incident at Wood Spring Bay Clevedon today after two motorcyclists reported that a number of people were stranded in mud.

The Coastguard received the report, via Clevedon Lifeboat, at just after midday. The Coastguard helicopter from Portland, a search and rescue helicopter from RAF Chivenor, the Portishead RNLI inshore lifeboat, the Weston-super-Mare and Portishead Coastguard Rescue Teams and the Somerset Fire and Rescue Firefly Hovercraft all attended the scene.

Two of the people were airlifted to shore by the Coastguard helicopter, 11 others were able to make their own way back to shore and 2 decided to remain on scene. The group had been participating in geocaching.

Roger Reed, Senior Maritime Operations Officer for HM Coastguard said:

“The report came to us at just after midday today that 15 people were stuck in the mud and needing assistance. We have since discovered that they were undertaking the hobby of geocaching. This was in an extremely dangerous place and we would not encourage others to search in these areas because there are complex tidal patterns and deep mud.

We would encourage all groups who are undertaking activities such as these to contact us with details of their event so that we have all of the information that we need to ensure the safety of those involved.

I’d also like to remind members of the public, that should they suspect that an emergency situation is unfolding along the coast, the best course of action is to call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”

Monday, 13 April 2015


A man who went out for a swim got into difficulties after being caught in fog.

The 29 year old had gone for a swim east of Littlehampton Harbour entrance but was lost to sight of his Brother onshore who called the Coastguard.

Littlehampton Coastguard Rescue Team and Littlehampton Lifeboats were sent to look for the missing man.

He was retrieved from the water by Littlehampton CRT but did not require an ambulance.

National Maritime Operations Controller for the UK Coastguard, Ashley Rawson said; "A combination of the fog which can appear quickly this time of year and the tide can leave people in difficulty.

"You can think that you’re swimming and making progress but the tide can be against you and with the fog you have no idea where you are and how far you’ve got.

"This is the third incident like this in about a week which can be attributed to the warmer spring weather that catches the public unawares as the sea temperatures are still low."  


At a hearing today at South Shields Magistrates Court, Robert Trueman, the Owner/Skipper of a fishing vessel was fined a total of £5,000 plus costs of £4,536.18 after pleading guilty for failing to keep a good lookout. Trueman was also ordered to carry out 120 hours of community service and to pay £60 victim surcharge.

On the morning of 17th December 2013, the UK registered fishing vessel Grenaa Star left the North Shields Fish Quay bound for the North Sea fishing grounds. Shortly after leaving, the Grenaa Star  struck the south breakwater, began taking in water and was quickly grounded on the nearby Littlehaven Beach to prevent it sinking. The incident was reported by a passing vessel. At the time of the collision the Grenaa Star had a crew of three onboard. 

The vessel was attended by Officers from the Marine Unit of Northumbria Police. Once on board they ascertained that Trueman had been alone in the wheelhouse with the two other crewmen being below decks at the time of the collision.  Trueman was found in the wheelhouse and had sustained an injury to his head which was bleeding, and there was blood on the wheelhouse instrument panel.  Trueman said he had been thrown onto it on impact.  The officer could smell alcohol and requested a breath test.  Trueman refused, saying that he was concerned about the vessel and crew. He admitted that at the time of the collision the vessel had been on autopilot. 

When Trueman left the vessel two and a half hours after the collision he failed a breath test giving a reading of 58 (legal limit 35 mg/l). Subsequently, about 5 hours after the collision he provided a urine sample which on subsequent analysis revealed a reading of 65 mg/100ml (legal limit 107).

When interviewed by police on the 24th December 2013, Trueman denied he was in the wheelhouse; saying that another member of the crew had been in charge of the vessel while he had been below in the engine room.  At the time of the collision Trueman said, he had been returning to the wheelhouse. Once the results of the urine test were known, the police handed over the investigation to the Enforcement Unit of the MCA. In June 2014 Trueman provided a voluntary statement admitting he had been alone in the wheelhouse at the time of the collision.

The matter was then taken forward by the MCA for a breach of maritime safety legislation. As a result of damage received during the collision, the Grenaa Star has now been scrapped.

Robert Trueman, aged 55, from Hartlepool pleaded guilty to one offence of failing to keep a good lookout as required by Rule 5 of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1974, as amended.  He was given community service of 120 hours over the next 15 months, fined £5,000  and ordered to pay costs of £4,536.18 and a £60 victim surcharge.

In passing sentence His Honour Judge Hickey said Trueman relying on the auto-pilot had been a serious admission and clearly he had taken a quantity of alcohol. But he said that while the custody threshold had been crossed, he was satisfied the sentence was sufficient.

David Fuller, Principal Fishing Vessel Surveyor at the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) said:
 “This was a serious avoidable incident. 

“Over-dependence on autopilots is dangerous especially in confined waters, and in addition to ensure safety at sea it is essential to maintain a proper lookout at all times.” 

Sunday, 12 April 2015


Four people were rescued from the water this afternoon after their 18ft speedboat sank off the coast between Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton.

The UK Coastguard was phoned by one of the people on the speedboat at just before 3 O’clock this afternoon. The Coastguard was told that the engine had stopped working and that the speedboat was filling with water. There were three adults and one teenager on board and only the teenager was wearing a lifejacket.

The RNLI lifeboat based at Exmouth was sent to the scene. Unfortunately the situation with the speedboat deteriorated before the lifeboat could reach them and the four people had to jump in to the water.

The Exmouth lifeboat rescued all four people from the sea and brought them back to shore where they received medical attention.

Peter Davies from UK Coastguard said;
“The person who called us this afternoon did exactly the right thing by calling for help at the earliest opportunity. Because they called when they did the amount of time the group spent in the cold sea was mercifully short. However this incident is a timely reminder that even if you are going out to sea on a pleasant Sunday afternoon you should prepare for the unexpected and that’s why HM Coastguard recommend that everyone on board should have an appropriate personal floatation device, such as a lifejacket.  

“It’s also worth investing in a VHF or DSC radio system as whenever you make an emergency call you tell everyone within range of your predicament. Even if you cannot see them there may be another vessel close by that can quickly help. It’s probably unwise to depend on a mobile phone for emergency communications at sea because if the mobile coverage is poor you might not have the signal you need to make the call.”