Nicholas Hodges admitted to failing to have proper control and navigation of his yacht in Cardiff Bay whilst drunk

A Cardiff sailor has been ordered to pay £830 after he admitted being drunk while in charge of his yacht.

This is the first prosecution of its kind to be brought by the Cardiff Harbour Authority.

Magistrates heard that on 8 January 2017, Hodges’ yacht, Lutra, was seen being navigated erratically in Cardiff Bay.

The 54-year-old skipper needed the assistance of harbour staff to moor the yacht at Cardiff Marina.

A statement from the police submitted to the court said that Hodge was drunk.

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Appearing before Cardiff Magistrates’ Court, Hodges admitted to breaches of Cardiff Harbour Authority by-laws – that hat he failed to have proper control and navigation of his boat whilst under the influence of drink and that he failed to navigate with care and consideration and caused nuisance and excessive wash to others.

Hodges, whose address was given in court as Lutra, Cardiff Marina, Watkiss Way, Cardiff, was fined £300 for each offence and ordered to pay costs of £200 and a £30 victim surcharge.

He also apologised to the court.

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Speaking after the case, the city’s harbour master, Andrew Vye-Parminter, warned of the dangers of mixing alcohol and sailing.

“Safety on the water is a priority for the Harbour Authority and while we want everyone to enjoy the Bay, water and alcohol don’t mix,” he stressed.

Vye-Parminter added: “Anyone using the water is encouraged to do so in a safe and responsible manner.”

“Our by-laws are there for a reason – to keep everyone safe on the water. Thankfully, nobody was hurt in this incident, but it could quite easily have been a very different matter,” stressed the harbour master.

The Cardiff Harbour Authority by-law states that while operating in Cardiff Bay, “no person shall navigate any vessel or use pleasure craft whilst under the influence of drink or drugs whereby they are unable to take proper control of the vessel or pleasure craft.”