The Environment Agency fines seven boaters for not registering their vessels Photo by Alasdair Elmes on Unsplash

Seven boaters fined more than £6,500

The Environment Agency‘s message for boat owners is register your boat or face thousands of pounds in penalties.

Any vessel boat owners keep, use, or let for hire on Environment Agency waterways. Vessels must also display a valid registration plate.

Not doing so can result in penalties including fines and a criminal record.

Waterways team leader at the Environment Agency, Nathan Arnold, said:

“Our waterways are part of our nation’s rich heritage and beauty, and they contribute to our environment, our health and wellbeing, and our economy.

“But boaters who break the law by not registering their boats are putting the future of these historic and precious waterways at risk – so we won’t hesitate to take action against them.”

Unregistered boats on the River Great Ouse

Seven boaters have to forfeit more than £6,500 between them for failing to register their vessels for use on the River Great Ouse.

Lee Eastwood, residing on the Lowena Dew moored at Downham Market, Paul Dale of Tunstall Terrace in Darlington, Darren Beacroft of Mason Gardens in Kings Lynn, Paul Danahar of Ramsey Road in St Ives, Trevor Hewitt of Railway Road in Downham Market, Terry Whitnall of Pitmansfield in Harlow, and Jessica Ibbotson of Spencer Road in Bedford have each been given 28 days to pay up.

The cases were proved at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court on 23 August, except for Mr Eastwood’s case which was proved at Kings Lynn on the same day, and Ms Ibbotson’s case which was proved at Luton Magistrates’ Court on 28 August.

Mr Eastwood was ordered to pay £608.79, Mr Dale £878.71, Mr Beacroft £472.49, Mr Danahar £978.98, Mr Whitnall £1,079.99, Ms Ibbotson £535.50. Mr Hewitt who owned two of the unregistered vessels had to pay £1,990.99.

Fines are invested in to the waterways

So far this year, the Environment Agency has recovered £129,000 in avoided registration charges. These funds are invested into maintaining, improving and protecting waterways.

As well as not contributing their fair share towards the upkeep of waterways, unregistered boats can be unsafe, hazardous to other river users and a pollution risk to the local environment and wildlife.

The Environment Agency looks after 353 miles of navigable waterways in the Anglian network. This includes the Ancholme, Black Sluice, Glen, Welland, Nene, Great Ouse and Stour, as well as associated locks and navigation facilities like moorings, showers and toilets.

More information about boating, waterways, and registering vessels is available from the Environment Agency.

If you suspect a boat is illegal, please contact the EA on 03708 506 506 or via email.