Shipwreck skipper’s licence is suspended

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Jersey’s Harbourmaster removed the certification after carrying out an investigation into the accident in St Aubin’s Bay.

The Jersey Maritime Administration, which is now considering the investigation report, and the Harbour Authority both have the power to prosecute the skipper.

It is understood that if he is prosecuted, he could face a fine under the Harbours (Inshore Safety) (Jersey) Regulations 2012.

However, it is not yet known whether any action will be taken against the man, who has not been publicly named.

The yacht went down on the evening of 17 November after hitting the Raudière Buoy. Two people – the skipper and a man believed to be the yacht’s owner – were rescued by firefighters on board the service’s inshore boat.

In a statement, a Ports of Jersey spokesman said the skipper’s Local Knowledge Endorsement – a qualification which allows the holder to operate commercially carrying up to 12 passengers in Jersey’s territorial waters – had been suspended.

‘With the incident taking place in Jersey waters and being a Jersey-registered commercial vessel an investigation was conducted on behalf of the Harbourmaster.

‘On the basis of the report the Harbourmaster has currently suspended the skipper’s Local Knowledge Endorsement and has forwarded the report to the Jersey Maritime Administration for its consideration.

‘Following its review it may publish the findings of the report,’ the spokesman said.

To gain an LKE an applicant must hold a professional maritime qualification and sit an oral examination with a licensed Jersey general pilot to demonstrate both local knowledge and an understanding of operational safety.

Following the accident, the yacht was moved to deeper water off St Brelade’s Bay. A salvage operation was called off last month after it was discovered that the boat had broken up on the sea bed. A large section of the vessel later washed up on the Normandy coast, with smaller pieces of debris coming ashore around Jersey.

In a statement, Economic Development said the JMA, which forms part of the department, and Harbours would work together to implement any recommendations.

‘The Harbourmaster has conducted an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the collision of the P6T2 and the Raudière Buoy. This is a requirement for the Harbour Authority, as the incident occurred within St Helier Harbour limits, and also for the Jersey Maritime Administration, as it involved a Jersey-registered vessel.

‘As a result of that investigation, the Harbourmaster has issued a formal Harbourmaster warning and has suspended the skipper’s Local Knowledge Endorsement,’ a spokesman said.

‘The report has been passed to the Maritime Administration and we are currently considering its content and will work jointly with the Harbour Authority with regard to implementing any recommendations.

‘Both the Harbour Authority and the Maritime Administration have the ability to prosecute under shipping legislation. The nature of any penalty would depend on the offence committed,’ the spokesman added.

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