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Displaying items by tag: Courts

#Speedboat - A man has been sentenced to six years in prison for the manslaughter of a woman who died after his speedboat crashed in London three years agp.

According to The Guardian, Jack Shepherd (31) was absent from sentencing at the Old Bailey after skipping bail, and police currently have a warrant out for his arrest.

The jurors heard that in December 2015, Shepherd took his date Charlotte Brown (24) to his speedboat on the River Thames while both were under the influence of alcohol, and allowed her to drive the vessel at “full throttle”.

The boat crashed into a submerged log before capsizing and throwing both Shepherd and Brown into the river.

Brown showed symptoms of hypothermia and cardiac arrest when she was recovered from the water, and was pronounced dead later.

Neither Brown nor Shepherd was wearing a lifejacket, and Shepherd — who had previously been pulled over a number of times for speeding on the river — admitted in a police interview that he did not inform Brown, who had no boating experience, about the safety devices on board.

Police also said the speedboat itself had a number of defects, including a ‘wobble’ in its steering.

Mail Online has video recorded by Brown on her phone of part of the pair’s speedboat trip, in which she can be heard commenting that Shepherd was “going so fast”.

Judge Richard Marks QC, in his sentencing remarks, said Shepherd had a “totally cavalier attitude to safety”. The Guardian has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update
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#CheekiRafiki - The director of the yacht company that operated the Cheeki Rafiki — which sank in the Atlantic four years ago, claiming the lives of its four crew — has been given a suspended sentence over the incident, as The Guardian reports.

Douglas Innes of Stormforce Coaching Ltd was convicted last year of failing to ensure the safety of the vessel which was lost in the Atlantic in May 2014.

James Male, Andrew Bridge, Steve Warren and Paul Goslin were lost at sea after their yacht lost its keel amid poor weather around 700 miles off Nova Scotia while the four were returning to the UK from Antigua.

In sentencing, the judge said that cost-cutting at Innes’ business had contributed to the loss of the crew and their vessel, which had not been inspected and did not comply with licences.

Innes, 43, was acquitted at retrial of the manslaughter of the four men

The Guardian has more on the story HERE.

Published in Offshore
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A pub row over Olympic sailing and Irish medallist Annalise Murphy ended with a baseball bat attack and a narrowly avoided jail sentence.

As Independent.ie reports, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Patrick O’Reilly struck Frank Shannon with the weapon after he was jeered for his support of “minority sports” at Tallaght’s Kiltipper Inn on 6 August 2016.

Defending barrister Gaby Dean BL told the court that her client “saw red” at the ridicule and left the pub to retrieve the bat, which which he assaulted Shannon.

Independent.ie has more on the story HERE.

Published in Olympic
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#FishKill - Irish Water pleaded guilty to the discharge of deleterious matter to the River Vartry one year ago, at a sitting of Bray District Court this past Tuesday (20 February).

The offence related to the accidental discharge of lime from their water treatment facility at Roundwood, Co Wicklow.

Roisin O’Callaghan, fisheries environmental officer with Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI), told Judge Kennedy that, on 21 February 2017, IFI received a call that there had been an accidental spill of lime at the water treatment plant.

On investigation, O’Callaghan confirmed that the spill had resulted in a fish kill for approximately 500 metres downstream from the discharge.

A series of water samples were taken and analysis confirmed that the lime spill had altered the pH in the receiving water, resulting in the death of approximately 100 fish.

Irish Water co-operated fully with IFI’s investigation and initiated an immediate clean-up of the site.

Eoghan Cole BL, representing Irish Water, stated that following the clean-up, the Environmental Protection Agency had completed a dye survey on the drainage network to confirm that only clean surface water was discharging to the River Vartry.

Judge Kennedy commented on the significance of the River Vartry in supporting Atlantic salmon, sea trout, brown trout and lamprey.

Irish Water were fined €500 with costs and expenses amounting to €6,937.65.

Published in Inland Waterways

#Training - A marine notice issued earlier this year on accreditation for seafarers qualifications has “no legal basis” and must be quashed, says the High Court.

According to The Irish Times, the court has also directed Transport Minister Shane Ross to recognise British-accredited seafarer training provided in Ireland.

The judgement detailed that the Marine Survey Office was in breach of several EU regulations in failing to approve sea survival refresher courses provided by the likes of Cork Harbour’s National Maritime College of Ireland, which are accredited by Britain’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

In addition, the European Commission has given Ireland two months to comply with EU law regarding the mutual recognition of qualifications for seafarers.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Ports & Shipping
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#LoughErne - BelfastLive reports that a man has been charged with the murder of a woman whose body was found in Lough Erne earlier this year.

Lu Na McKinney was recovered from the water by emergency services in the early hours of Thursday 13 April.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the 35-year-old mother of two from Donegal was believed to have slipped from the deck of a boat while checking it was tied to the jetty.

Yesterday a PSNI spokesperson confirmed that a 41-year-old man had been charged with her murder and was due before Omagh Magistrates’ Court this morning (Tuesday 5 December).

The man is also charged with possession of a Class C controlled drug, a classification which includes a number of tranquilisers.

Published in News Update

#Shipping - The captain of a cargo ship that ran aground on Rathlin Island last week has been fined £1,000 over his negligence at the helm, as the Belfast Telegraph reports.

The MV Ruyter, which was en route from Russia via Denmark and Scotland, sustained extensive damage to the front of its hull after running aground on the north side of Rathlin Island on the night of Tuesday 10 October.

However the damage was not noted till the vessel arrived at Warrenpoint in Carlingford Lough the following afternoon.

At a sitting of Armagh Court, Judge Paul Copeland found that Aleksandr Iakovotsov had broken international shipping codes over failure to keep a lookout to judge risk of collision, and a separate charge of failing to provide sufficient lookout “during the hours of darkness”.

The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#CliffsOfMoher - An inquest into the death of a BASE jumper at the Cliffs of Moher earlier this year has heard how his parachute opened in the wrong direction as he was in free fall from the top of the Co Clare beauty spot.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the deceased was one of three men who had gone to Aill Na Searrach to perform the jump on the morning of Saturday 22 April.

In his deposition at the inquest, as reported in The Irish Times, Greg McEntee said he completed his own jump and landing safely just before the late Malcolm Rowley leapt from the edge.

McEntee described witnessing Rowley’s free fall and saw him opening his parachute “but when it opened, it didn’t open facing away from the cliffs.”

The incident was a “one in a 100” chance, said the veteran skydiver and BASE jumper of the deceased, whom he noted as having “a reasonable amount” of experience.

BASE (building, antenna, span and earth) jumping is the practice of parachuting from low-altitude fixed objects or cliffs. The extreme sport is considered illegal in most circumstances.

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#CheekiRafiki - The director of the yachting company that operated the Cheeki Rafiki has been convicted of failing to ensure the vessel’s safety when it was lost in the Atlantic three years ago.

James Male, Andrew Bridge, Steve Warren and Paul Goslin were lost at sea when their yacht lost its keel amid poor weather some 700 miles offshore of Nova Scotia in May 2014, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

In October last year, Douglas Innes of Stormforce Coaching Ltd was charged with the manslaughter of the four sailors, as well as failing to ensure the safety of the vessel.

According to the Guardian, Winchester crown court heard that the Cheeki Rafiki has grounded three times prior to the incident, and that bolts holding the keel to the hull were found to have failed. 

It was also claimed that Innes had planned an “unsafe” route from a regatta in Antigua to Britain, the voyage on which the tragedy occurred.

Innes has been released on unconditional bail pending sentencing. He also faces a retrial on the manslaughter charges after the jury failed to reach verdicts. The Guardian has more HERE.

Published in Offshore
Tagged under

#Angling - Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is now explicitly empowered to bring and prosecute summary proceedings for fisheries offences as the Inland Fisheries (Amendment) Act 2017 comes into force, following the signing of a commencement order by Environment Minister Denis Naughten yesterday (Tuesday 11 July).

The revised legislation resolves an issue over IFI’s power to prosecute, which arose in February 2017 and resulted in required legal amendments.

Earlier this year IFI was informed by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment that it had received legal advice to the effect that IFI did not have explicit power to prosecute offences under the Fisheries Acts.

The news brought a halt to all legal actions against poaching and other illegal angling and inland fisheries activity, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

However, the legislation commenced yesterday confirms that IFI has the power to resume legal action for offences under the Fisheries Acts.

In the interim period since the legislative issue came to light, fisheries officers continued to work as normal, and any offences detected during the past six-month period will now be able to proceed to prosecution in the normal manner.

“We welcome the commencement of this new legislation, which safeguards our ability to prosecute, and as a result, protects our fisheries resource which is of significant environmental, social and economic value to our country,” said IFI chief executive Dr Ciaran Byrne.

“This means that our staff can continue to ensure that this valuable natural resource is protected, conserved, managed and developed for the communities it serves across Ireland.”

Published in Angling
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