Port of London Authority acquitted
The Port of London Authority (“ the PLA”) was acquitted on Thursday 28 November of a serious maritime safety offence arising out of the sinking of the Chiefton tug and death of a crew member on 12 August 2011.
The prosecution had accused the PLA of failing to adequately and safely plan the tow of the Skyline Barge by the Chiefton and Steven B tug boats during a passage down the River Thames between 9 August and 12 August. The PLA maintained in its defence that in the particular circumstances the risk of the Chiefton sinking was not a material risk and in any event, the evidence showed the PLA had done all that was reasonably practicable to make the passage safe.
After a 7 week trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court before Thornton J, and following receipt of evidence from seven maritime experts, the jury unanimously found the PLA not guilty.
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