Two mariners fined £400 each

A tug-skipper and a house-boat owner have each been fined £400 by magistrates for failing to alert the Coastguard to a wreck they caused which could have sunk other vessels in the East Coast’s premier yachting river.

Brian Hudson, owner of the converted wooden fishing boat 40ft Pinto, and Ian Hodges, skipper of the towing vessel Rebeccan failed to notify authorities for 24 hours after the Pinto sank in the River Crouch, Essex while under tow from Brightlingsea in April.

Hudson later made an unsuccessful attempt to remove the wreck with tugs and barges, which cost several thousand pounds. The Pinto remains on the bed of the Crouch downriver of its junction with the River Roach , now marked by a permanent wreck buoy.

Mark Wakelin, Crouch Harbour Master said ‘ Accidents happen with old boats, but not reporting this wreck could have risked other people and vessels. It’s a painful lesson on the risks of getting involved with old and unseaworthy craft.’