Boaters prosecuted for flouting law

Vessel owners are legally required to register any vessel they keep, use or let for hire on Environment Agency waterways. They must also clearly display a valid registration plate. Not doing so can result in penalties including fines and a criminal record.

3 boat owners, who live on vessels moored at Riverside Island Marina, appeared at King’s Lynn Magistrates court on 4 November charged with not registering their vessels.

Kenneth Charlesworth and David Stone both pleaded guilty and need to pay compensation of £703.53 each. Stone also has to pay costs of £125.

Ian McDonald was found guilty in his absence of mooring his unregistered vessel at Riverside Island Marina. He received a fine of £440, must pay compensation of £1,015.40, costs of £250, and £40 for victim surcharge.

At Peterborough Magistrates Court on 18 November, a further boater, Alan Gamble, of Upware Marina, Old School Lane, was found guilty in his absence of the same offence.

He moored his unregistered vessel at Upware Marina on the River Cam. He was ordered to pay compensation of £703.53, costs of £250 and a £220 fine.

The offences happened in 2019.

2 further cases which were due to take place at Kings Lynn Magistrates Court have been adjourned until December 2 2020.

Ian Bliss, Waterways team leader at the Environment Agency, said:

Our waterways are part of our nation’s rich heritage and beauty, they contribute to our environment, health, wellbeing and economy.

But boaters who break the law by not registering their boats are putting the future of these historic and precious waterways at risk. So we won’t hesitate to take action against them.

So far this year, the Environment Agency has recovered £8,077 in avoided registration charges for Anglian Waterways. These funds are reinvested into maintaining, improving and protecting waterways.

As well as not contributing their fair share towards the upkeep of waterways, unregistered boats can be unsafe and hazardous to other river users and to the environment.

The Environment Agency looks after 353 miles of navigable waterways in the Anglian network. This includes Black Sluice, Nene, Great Ouse and Stour, as well as associated locks and navigation facilities like moorings and toilets.

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