David Richards successfully prosecutes the skipper and owner of a rib following the death of a 15 year old girl

15th February 2023

david richards

3PB's crime, regulatory and maritime barrister David Richards - pictured here - led by Christine Agnew KC, secured convictions against Michael Lawrence (skipper) and Michael Howley (owner) arising from a collision between the rib driven by Mr Lawrence and the Netley North West marker in Southampton Water on 22 August 2020.

The firm Seadogz, owned by Mr Howley ran a rib experience ride for high thrills excursions on Southampton Water. On 22 August 2020 when driving a rib with 11 passengers on board Mr Lawrence drove into the Netley Buoy causing multiple injuries to passengers and the tragic death of a 15 year old who was on board with her sister and parents.

Lawrence was found to have failed to keep a proper lookout and to have driven at an unsafe speed (both contrary to Collision Regulations). Mr Howley was found to have failed to ensure the safe operation of the rib through several failures in the management of his business and operation of the vessel.

The case was extensively covered in the press including this report on the BBC.

If you would like to instruct David Richards on any maritime matter, please contact his clerk Stuart Pringle on [email protected] or by calling 01962 868884.