De Zwerver couldn’t dodge the law

Skipper fined for sailing the wrong way up the Dover Straits

Magistrates have taken a dim view of the activities of a Belgian trawler caught sailing the wrong way in the Dover Strait Traffic Separation Scheme. The trawler, appropriately named De Zwerver, was first detected using the English Inshore Traffic Zone off Brighton in March 2009.

As it made its way up channel it caused a cross-Channel ferry to take avoiding action off Dover, and the ferry’s master reported the incident to Dover Channel Navigation Service (CNIS). Attempts to call the De Zwerver by radio received no response, as did efforts made to contact the trawler’s owner and skipper after the incident.

Fines totalling £6,263 were imposed on De Zwerver‘s skipper and the vessel’s owner at a hearing this week in Folkestone Magistrates Court. De Zwerver managed to avoid other vessels during her passage but was unable to avoid the long arm of the law!

Photo: Harvey Barrison