Lorry driver fined for not declaring dangerous goods to a ferry operator

Contributed by editor on Feb 01, 2009 - 12:00 AM

A Polish lorry driver has been fined £2,000 and ordered to pay
£3757.98 costs after pleading guilty to carrying dangerous goods on a
cross channel ferry.

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On Thursday 20 November 2008, at Dunkirk, Janusz Gauden, a 56 year old
Polish lorry driver arrived and attempted to board a British ferry bound
for Dover. He declared that he had 383Kg of Dangerous Goods (Methyl
Methacrylate Monomer Stabilized) on his load but the ferry operator
identified that the driver did not have the correct documentation and
refused permission to board.

Mr. Gauden then went to Calais where he managed to board a SeaFrance
ferry with 228 people onboard but without declaring the goods. The
Dunkirk ferry operator had sent an alert to SeaFrance to be on the look
out for the driver but this information arrived after the vessel sailed
with the undeclared dangerous goods on board.

The ferry operators informed the Maritime and Coastguard Agency
enforcement unit who immediately alerted the police at Dover Port.

The driver was stopped and arrested as the vehicle disembarked from the
ferry at Dover. He was later charged with contravening the Merchant
Shipping (Dangerous Goods & Marine Pollutants) Regulations 1997 and was
bailed to appear at Folkestone Magistrates Court.

On the 27th January 2009, at Folkestone Magistrates Court Janusz Gauden
pleaded guilty to the above offences and was fined £2000 and ordered to
pay £3757.98 costs.

In passing sentence the Magistrates said; "This Court takes the safety
of the public very seriously. You are an experienced driver and did a
deliberate act. You endangered the crew and everyone on board and the
potential for disaster was driven by monetary reasons."

Keith Bradley, MCA hazardous cargo adviser said: "Methyl Methacrylate
Monomer is inflammable and if subject to heating, such as in a fire, the
product can become explosive and causes toxic fumes. For those reasons,
it is important for the ships Master to know that he has the product on
board and to be aware of the emergency procedures to follow."