Trip boat skipper fell asleep causing £1.6m damage

Published: Wednesday, 29 January 2020

THE skipper of a trip boat on the Thames fell asleep at the wheel crashing the boat into a Thames pontoon.

This caused a total of £1.6m of damage to the pontoon. The boat the Jewel of London, was heading back to its overnight moorings at Wapping when skipper Daniel Wakefield fell asleep and crashed into a police pontoon.

Threw crew members in the air

CCTV showed that such was the impact of the crash it threw crew members into the air. The pontoon that is used as a base for responses to terror attacks and other emergencies needed £1,6m to repair and is expected to be out of use for months.

Daniel Wakefield admitted misconduct as a master of a vessel that caused loss and destruction and was fined £1,120 and ordered to pay £1,200 in costs.

The operator, London Party Boats, admitted failing safe operation of the boat and was fined £5,000 plus £15,225 in costs.

Exhausted being kep awake all night

At the hearing Daniel Wakefield told he was exhausted having been kept awake the previous night by his new born baby and the heat of the boat's cabin had made him sleepy.

It was stated that there should have been a look-out stationed in the wheelhouse, but there was not.