Press release

Boaters caught without navigation licences

Eight boaters have been prosecuted for keeping their vessels on waterways without registering them with the Environment Agency.

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Five charges were heard at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court on 7 October 2015, 1 at Scunthorpe Magistrates’ Court on 14 October 2015 and 2 at King’s Lynn Magistrates’ Court on 21 October 2015.

The offenders were ordered to pay fines totaling £3,270 and costs totaling £1,900.

On all 6 occasions, the Environment Agency’s river inspectors saw the vessels moored up without displaying the necessary license. Registration discs must be displayed on craft so they are clearly visible to the organisation’s enforcement staff.

Nathan Arnold, an Environment Agency Waterways Manager, said:

Failing to register a vessel just does not pay.

Not only do people risk being prosecuted and fined up to £1,000, but they still have to pay their registration fee and could end up with a criminal record.

All vessels kept, used or let for hire on Environment Agency waterways must be registered. As part of the registration process the vessel owner must have the appropriate safety certificates and valid insurance.

If a vessel is not registered the Environment Agency cannot be sure it is safe; therefore these vessels could be a potential hazard to other waterway users. They may also be a pollution risk and have negative impacts on wildlife.

Vessel registration charges are needed for maintaining the 568 kilometres of Anglian Waterway rivers, lock sites and other navigation facilities. The Environment Agency routinely inspects locks, moorings and other structures to make sure they are in good condition. Larger projects such as lock refurbishments are also carried out normally during the winter months.

John Cowell from Blackhorse Drove, Littleport, Ely, Cambridgeshire, had avoided a registration fee of £78.98 for his vessel ‘Wot’ Appened’ which was found moored on the River Great Ouse, at Black Horse Drove, Littleport, Cambridgeshire on 21 May 2015.

Cowell pleaded guilty by post and was fined £60, ordered to pay costs of £150, court charge of £150 and victim surcharge of £20.

Julie MacFarlane from c/o Upware Marina, Old School Lane, Upware, Ely, Cambridgeshire had avoided the registration fee of £878.71 for her vessel ‘MacFarlans Lantern’ which was found moored on the River Old West at Lazy Otter, Cambridgeshire on 14 May 2015.

The charge was proved in her absence. MacFarlane was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £250, court charge of £150 and victim surcharge of £100.

Alan Farmer from Victoria Street, Littleport, Ely, Cambridgeshire, had avoided a registration fee of £444.99 for his vessel ‘Munchkin I’ which was found moored on the River Great Ouse at Littleport, Cambridgeshire on 21 May 2015.

The charge was proved in his absence. Farmer was fined £550 and ordered to pay costs of £250, court charge of £150 and victim surcharge of £55.

Christopher Bayley from Isleham Marina, Fen Bank, Isleham, Ely, Cambridgeshire had avoided the registration fee of £343.98 for his vessel ‘Rhythm Divine’ which was found moored on the River Lark at Riverside Island Marina, Isleham, Cambridgeshire on 16 May 2015.

The charge was proved in his absence. Bayley was fined £350 and ordered to pay costs £250, court charge of £150, victim surcharge of £35.

Lisa Chejecki from Lisburn Road, Newmarket, Suffolk had avoided a registration fee of £444.99 for her vessel ‘Hideaway’ which was found moored on the River Cam at Fish N Duck Marina, Cambridgeshire on 13 May 2015.

The charge was proved in her absence. Chejecki was fined £450 and ordered to pay costs of £250, court charge of £150, victim surcharge of £45.

Martin Chapman from Chiltern Crescent, Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire had avoided a registration fee of £304.39 for his vessel ‘Hi Fidelity’ which was found moored on the Old River Ancholme at Glanford Boat Club,North Lincolnshire on 29 May 2015.

The charge was proved in his absence. Chapman was fined £660 and ordered to pay costs of £250, court charge of £150 and victim surcharge of £66.

Steffany Keane from Station Road, Great Ryburgh, Fakenham had avoided a registration fee of £343.98 for her vessel ‘Smudja’ which was found moored on the River Wissey at Hilgay, Norfolk on 27 May 2015.

Keane pleaded guilty by post and was fined £100 and ordered to pay costs of £250, court charge of £150 and victim surcharge of £20.

Christopher Rose from Setch Road, Blackborough End, Kings Lynn had avoided a registration fee of £145.38 for his vessel ‘Buster’ which was found moored on the River Wissey at Hilgay, Norfolk on 27 May 2015.

Rose pleaded guilty in court and was fined £100 and ordered to pay costs of £250, court charge of £150 and victim surcharge of £20.

Published 26 October 2015