Man jailed following collision between fishing vessels off Shoreham

A man has been jailed following a collision involving two fishing vessels off Shoreham

Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 6:24 pm
Scales of Justice SUS-210527-132835001

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said Craig Petre, aged 32, was today (June 1) sentenced at Hove Crown Court to 66 weeks’ imprisonment.

The collision occurred during the morning of April 4, 2020 when the Oliva Jean, a 33-metre fishing vessel, skippered by Petre collided with the much smaller (nine metre) Peter Paul II.

The MCA said the Olivia Jean was travelling at between eight and nine knots at the time of the collision in weather conditions that caused poor visibility.

Heavy steel beams used for fishing were unnecessarily down at either side of the Olivia Jean while she was travelling making the vessel almost 30 metres wide, the MCA said.

One of these beams hit the Peter Paul II, causing damage to the vessel.

An investigation was carried out by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s Regulatory Compliance Investigation Team who summonsed Petre for offences under Section 58 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 Conduct endangering ships, structures or individuals.

The MCA said Petre, from Workington, pleaded guilty to the offence at a hearing at Lewes Crown Court on January 14.

At the time of this offence, Petre was on a 48-week suspended sentence which the judge today added to an 18-week sentence given for the latest offence and the sentences will now run consecutively.

Mark Cam, lead investigation officer from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, said: “Petre failed to heed several important international safety regulations at the time of the collision. The Olivia Jean was travelling at an unsafe speed for the weather conditions and Petre failed to maintain a proper lookout for other vessels.

“As a result, serious damage was caused to another vessel and the master of that vessel was also put at risk of serious injury or death.

“These regulations are there to ensure the safety of those at sea and it is unacceptable to breach them. We will always investigate and prosecute where necessary those who disregard regulations and put lives at risk.”