Mar 24

‘Under influence’ Cardiff Bay boater fined

A Cardiff boater has been fined after he admitted failing to have control of his vessel while under the influence of drink.

In the first prosecution of its kind by Cardiff Harbour Authority, a court was told Nicholas Hodges’ yacht Lutra was seen being navigated erratically in Cardiff Bay on its way back to his mooring in Cardiff Marina.

Cardiff Magistrates’ Court heard that Hodges then needed help from harbour staff to moor his boat on January 8 this year. A police statement submitted to court said that Hodges was drunk.

At the court on Monday, March 13, Hodges admitted two breaches of Cardiff Harbour Authority byelaws – that he failed to have proper control and navigation of his boat whilst under the influence of drink and that he failed to navigate with care and consideration and caused nuisance and excessive wash to others.

Hodges, whose address was given in court as Lutra, Cardiff Marina, Watkiss Way, Cardiff, was fined £300 for each offence and ordered to pay costs of £200 and a £30 victim surcharge. He apologised to the court.

Harbour Master Andrew Vye-Parminter said after the case: “Safety on the water is a priority for the Harbour Authority and while we want everyone to enjoy the Bay, water and alcohol don’t mix.”

He added: “Anyone using the water is encouraged to do so in a safe and responsible manner.

“Our byelaws are there for a reason – to keep everyone safe on the water. Thankfully, nobody was hurt in this incident, but it could quite easily have been a very different matter.”

The Cardiff Harbour Authority byelaw states that while operating in Cardiff Bay, “no person shall navigate any vessel or use pleasure craft whilst under the influence of drink or drugs whereby they are unable to take proper control of the vessel or pleasure craft.”

For advice and information, visit our dedicated sections on water safety and navigation.

Nicholas Hodges pleaded guilty to the following charges:

1 That on or about January 8, 2017, the defendant, as a master in control of the boat / pleasure craft named Lutra, did fail to navigate with care and consideration and caused nuisance and excessive wash to others in breach of byelaw 5 of the Cardiff Harbour Authority Byelaws of 9th September, 2008, and contrary to S.237 Local Government Act 1972.

2 That on or about January 8, 2017, the defendant, as a master in control of the boat / pleasure craft named Lutra, did fail to have proper control and navigation of that boat / pleasure craft whilst under the influence of drink in breach of byelaw 40 of the Cardiff Harbour Authority Byelaws of 9th September, 2008, and contrary to S.237 Local Government Act 1972.