On 24th March 2012 the Jolly Fisherman was monitored by Dover Coastguard traveling in a North Easterly direction in the South West lane of the Dover Strait Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS), contrary to Rule 10(b)(1) of the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972. During the vessels passage it forced several merchant vessels to alter course to avoid a collision.
Dover Coastguard made several attempts to contact the Jolly Fisherman with no response.
At a hearing yesterday at Southampton Magistrates Court, Paul Alexander, skipper and owner of a Dover based charter angling boat Jolly Fisherman, was fined £7,500 and costs of £2,254 for traveling seventeen miles in the wrong direction in the Dover Strait Traffic Separation Scheme.
In passing sentence, the Chairman of the Magistrates, said:
It was a serious offence exacerbated by having paying members of the public aboard, seventeen nautical miles is an excessive distance to travel the wrong way.
Mr Kaimes Beasley , CNIS Manager at Dover Coastguard, stated
The Dover Strait Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) is one of the busiest in the world. At the time of the offence the visibility was very poor and Mr. Alexander put his customers and other vessels at significant risk by not obeying the rules.