A successful outcome through ABP’s Wrecked and Abandoned Vessel Programme

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A man was found guilty on Friday 23rd February at Southampton Magistrates Court on two counts of failing to comply with the Harbour Master's directions to manage safety on the river Itchen. He was fined and ordered to contribute towards court costs and has been given one month to pay the fine. 

The court heard that the man had been living onboard an 'unserviceable' vessel on the River Itchen, without the required permissions. The condition and positioning of the vessel was preventing the safe use of the river and an adjacent slipway by other waterway users.

The vessel occupant failed to comply with two Special Directions issued by Southampton's Harbour Master who is responsible for the safety of maritime activity in and around the Statutory Harbour Area. It was after the repeated failure of the vessel's occupant to act in a safe and responsible manner that legal action had to be taken.

This action was part of ABP Southampton's UK leading Wrecked and Abandoned Vessel removal programme, making Southampton Harbour a safer and more sustainable place for all. 

Steve Masters, Southampton Harbour Master, said: "We are pleased with the outcome of this case, which we have been working on for over 12 months. ABP doesn't take such action lightly, but we have to act through the courts in line with our statutory powers if other routes are exhausted. It is important for all water users to understand the consequences of failing to comply with instructions from the Harbour Authority, particularly when failure to comply affects the safe use of our waterways." 

Steve continued: "We started working on our Wrecked and Abandoned Vessel programme in 2021 and have since removed over 110 vessels from the River Itchen. These vessels were a safety hazard for all waterway users. Wrecks can cause damage and degradation to local rivers, including pollution risks, as well as being a hazard to the safety of navigation."