The master of a wind farm passenger vessel was fined on Friday following a collision with a floating military target back in 2012

The master of a wind farm passenger transfer
vessel was ordered to pay £9,702 in fines and costs on Friday after pleading
guilty to a breach of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995.

Michael Gallagher was skippering the
workboat catamaran Windcat 9 when it collided with a large floating military
target in Donna Nook air weapons range on 21 November 2012 near Grimsby.

The vessel, which was carrying 15
passengers at the time, is thought to have been travelling at around 23 knots
when it crashed, causing severe damage to the boat’s hull and resulting in
extensive flooding.

Luckily all of those on board were unhurt
following the incident.

An investigation by the Maritime and Coastguard
Agency (MCA) found Mr Gallagher was not keeping a proper lookout and had set
his electronic navigation equipment incorrectly.

The defendant pleaded guilty at Southampton
Magistrates Court to a breach of section 58 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995,
leaving him with a fine of £1,500, and costs of £8,082, plus a victim surcharge
of £120.

Hull MCA marine office surveyor Gwen
Lancaster said: “Mr Gallagher should have kept a proper lookout at all times
using all available means to be competent in using all his electronic
navigational equipment.

“Luckily no one was hurt, but there could
have been multiple fatalities as a result of this high speed collision.”

Related articles