The skipper of a day angling boat has been fined in a UK court after sailing his vessel the wrong way in a busy shipping lane.

Simon Hughes, 64, appeared at Maidstone Magistrates Court where he was ordered to pay a fine of £1,730 ($2,195), a victim surcharge of £173 and prosecution costs of £25,000.

The case was brought by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) after Hughes’ vessel, Reel Fun 2, was observed by HM Coastguard’s Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in Dover to be heading the wrong way along the south-west Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) on several occasions on 14 September 2022.

The vessel’s actions prompted HM Coastguard officers at the MRCC to try to make contact by radio broadcasts, without response.

A “rogue vessel” warning was broadcast to shipping using the TSS. Contact was only made with Reel Fun 2 after the intervention of a Royal Navy ship.

The sentence on 12 June was handed down by District Judge Stephen Leake, the MCA said.

MCA investigator Mark Flavell added: “Large ships may have difficulty in seeing small vessels using the TSS. Failing to comply with the rules may cause confusion on the bridge of large ships resulting in alteration of speed and course.

“This can have a knock-on effect for other large ships, creating an unnecessary hazard to shipping,” he added.

Hughes had previously been convicted at a trial at Maidstone Magistrates Court on 23 November 2022.

He was found guilty of breaking rule 10 of the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.