The owner of a luxury motor yacht has pleaded guilty to carrying more people than licensed to do so between Strangford to Peel, Isle of Man.
The merchant vessel ‘Sarah May III’ is registered in the UK, certificated under the Code of Practice for the Safety of Small Commercial Vessels and licensed to carry no more than twelve passengers.
On 6th June 2008 it carried more than 20 passengers across the Irish Sea from Strangford to Peel, Isle of Man.
The vessel, owned by local man Mr Grahame Stronge, was captured on CCTV at both Strangford and Peel as the passengers boarded the vessel.
At the Magistrate’s Court in Downpatrick on 7th Nov 2011 the owner pleaded guilty of failing to comply with the Code of Practice for the Safety of Small Commercial Vessels and to a breach of survey and certification regulations.
The owner was fined a total of £800
On summing up the Magistrate Brian Archer said:
“Good fortune, as much as there was no accident, the defendant knew he was overloaded and he was lucky there wasn’t a tragedy, hopefully this won’t happen again.
Captain Bill Bennett, Area Operations Manager (Survey and Inspection) Belfast for the MCA stated that:
“This was a serious breach of the Survey and Certification Regulations and should serve as a reminder to all operators of the dangers of carrying more passengers than the vessel is certificated and equipped to carry. All breaches of the Maritime Regulations are taken seriously by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.”