After several investigations and researches for the death of the tug’s Chiefton engineer, the Port of London and the vessel’s captain have been found not guilty. Almost eight years have passed, since the engineer’s fatal accident of the capsized vessel in Thames river near Greenwich Pier, on August 12, 2011.
After the tug’s collision with a crane barge and the fatal accident, the Port of London Authority and the tug’s captain were in the spotlight as they were facing criminal charges.
Specifically, the Port of London which maintains and supervises navigation on the river, has been charged with a health and safety violation by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. While the captain was charged for misconduct amounting to a “breach or neglect of duty”.
With a seven-week trial continuing at Snaresbrook Crown Court, the Port of London, Palmers Marine Services and Ravestein VB were eventually resulted clear after being charged by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) last year.
The case was extraordinary in many respects not least for the shocking eight-year delay in bringing the prosecution and the loss of vital physical evidence by the crown. The MCA failed to provide any proper explanation for this delay and it is difficult to see how these unsuccessful prosecutions can be considered a good use of public money.
…said Richard Morris and Catriona Boyd, who both defended Palmers Marine Services.
Moreover, the Port of London from its side, announced that the trail examined all the aspects and factors that caused this tragedy, while came to the conclusion that the port had not failed in ensuring the safety of its workers and was therefore not guilty.
The jury was asked whether the PLA had failed to ensure the safety of its workers and others involved in the towing operation so far as reasonably practicable. The jury found the PLA had not failed in this regard and was therefore not guilty.
…said Port of London’s spokesman, Martin Garside.
After the following accident the spokesman further reported that the Port of London acted immediately and reviewed all procedures for the conduct of such tows, while it took actions which are further detailed in the independent Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) report of 2012. Concluding, the authorities of Port of London extended their sympathy to the engineer’s family.