Skipper gets suspended sentence for running aground FV Algrie

A Newlyn fisherman with over 40 years experience has been sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for two years, after running the trawler FV Algrie (PZ 199) aground at Mountbatten Breakwater, Plymouth.

Michael Kinnaird, from Newlyn had earlier pleaded guilty to the charges at Plymouth magistrates court on 6 December, which related to an incident in October in which no one was harmed.  He was also ordered to pay costs of £5000 and £115 victim surcharge.

The court heard that it was shortly after 8.45pm on 7 October 2017, that Mr Kinnaird’s vessel, a 21metre trawler FV Algrie left its moorings at Sutton Harbour. It then continued out of the harbour entrance but did not alter course into the shipping channel.

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Instead, the FV Algrie kept a steady course at seven knots before running aground at Mountbatten Breakwater. None of the five crew on board was injured and there was no reported pollution as a result.

Minor damage was caused to the vessel and it was recovered back to its moorings on the next high tide.

When interviewed by MCA Enforcement Officers, Mr Kinnaird said he had navigated into and out of the harbour hundreds of times, but on this occasion, became confused when he saw lights from anglers who were fishing from the breakwater. He was asked why he didn’t reduce his speed or reverse, use his navigation aids or even his spot light but he could give no answer. In passing sentence, District Judge Taylor said that alcohol did affect Mr Kinnaird’s actions that night and he didn’t accept his explanation about being confused by the lights on the breakwater.

Picture: © Ultimate Shot/John Baldry