'Operation Clean Seas' cleans up Troon Harbour

A joint operation between the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and Police Scotland has resulted in the detention of one fishing vessel and two further vessels prohibited from fishing, after being inspected in Troon Harbour, Scotland.
MCA Hunter in Troon Harbour for Operation Clean Seas

Just after midday today (Friday 9 September), MCA surveyors and Officers from Police Scotland boarded a number of vessels in Troon Harbour as part of ‘Operation Clean Seas’.  Today’s operation – which is part of an ongoing MCA inspection policy – follows on from a number of complaints and reports received about substandard vessels, non-qualified crews and crews operating under the influence of drugs and alcohol. 

The operation was also supported by MCA Enforcement Officers, Borders & Immigration Police and the HM Coastguard volunteers on the vessel MCA Hunter.  A total of eight vessels were inspected during the five hour operation and while a number of vessels were found to meet acceptable standards some were found to fall well short of the legal requirements resulting in their detention.  In addition, five improvement notices were issued for crew that were not properly trained and two crew were removed from fishing vessels for having no safety training qualifications at all. 

An expired floatation device found onboard one of the vessels
significant results in the fight to keep our seas safe.  Our first priority will always be the safety of those at sea and we will continue to target those operating substandard vessels and employing unqualified crew. 

‘We want to send a stark message to those who flout the laws on maritime safety.  Fishing is a dangerous job. For the safety of all those working in the industry, operators must ensure their vessels are up to standard and that the crews on board are appropriately qualified.

An expired satellite distress beacon
‘Today’s operations has resulted in one vessel detention and two vessels prohibited from fishing and we will not rule out further inspections or activity as we continue our investigations.  We are committed to working with our partner agencies to protect those at sea by stopping dangerous vessels making their way on the water, and to hold accountable those responsible.’

Inspector Alister Kelly, Community Policing Inspector for Troon, who led the involvement of Police Scotland said today: ‘We all know that fishing is a hazardous job. Poor vessels, poorly qualified crew and poor equipment makes an already dangerous job a potentially deadly venture. Keeping people safe is at the heart of what we do and this includes working with our partners to keep people safe at sea. We will continue to work successfully with the MCA and others to ensure that our local community is as safe as possible for those who live, work and visit Troon.’

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