Southampton Magistrates Court has fined Captain Arvind Nath, the master of the gas carrier Sigas Sylvia £1,500, plus £1,000 costs for failing to discharge his duties properly to such an extent as to be likely to endanger ships, structures or individuals.
On the afternoon on Wednesday 6 January 2010, Sigas Sylvia, bound from Liverpool to Tees Port was transiting the Strait of Dover when it was involved with another tanker, MV Clipper Leander. This was seen on radar by HM Coastguard at Dover. Shortly after the incident, the Sigas Sylvia was warned by Dover Coastguard that they were about to aground on the Goodwin Sands.
Clipper Leander formally reported Sigas Sylvia for not complying with the International Rules for Preventing Collisions at Sea.
MCA’s investigation revealed that Captain Nath had breached his company’s instructions by leaving a Second Officer alone on the bridge without a lookout and resumed a previous course that would have taken the vessel on to the Goodwin Sands. Captain Nath was charged with failing to discharge his duties properly to such an extent as to be likely to endanger ships, structures or individuals. Contrary to section 58 Merchant Shipping Act 1995.
On the 24 March 2010, Captain Nath pleaded guilty at Southampton Magistrates Court and was fined £1,500, plus £1,000 costs to the MCA.
The bench took into consideration the accused’s early intention to plead guilty and that fact that he travelled from China to attend the hearing. They also took into mitigation the differences in pay to that of a UK Masters earnings and the effect the offence will have on his sea going reputation.
MCA Spokesman Captain Eric Meare, Nautical Surveyor at Dover Marine Office says:” Captain Nath allowed a number of errors to accumulate. This resulted in a major failing of good seamanship with a near collision and near grounding of his vessel.”