Company fined for turning boats blue

A COMPANY has been fined £8,000 after an accident which turned 21 boats in Ipswich Dock marina blue.Owners of the affected vessels were left "outraged and distressed" but fortunately no fish or wildlife were killed, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

A COMPANY has been fined £8,000 after an accident which turned 21 boats in Ipswich Dock marina blue.

Owners of the affected vessels were left "outraged and distressed" but fortunately no fish or wildlife were killed, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Yesterday, as revealed on The Evening Star website, Lansdowne Distribution Limited, which has premises in Felixstowe, admitted failing to prevent the escape of the blue dye and failing to give sufficient information about the dye to a skip company to enable it to deal with its disposal.

The company, which has a 70-strong workforce and an annual turnover of £6.7 million, was fined £4,000 on each of the two charges and ordered to pay £9,000 towards the cost of the prosecution by the Environment Agency.


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Sentencing the company, Judge Peter Thompson said it had failed in two separate ways to deal with the spillage of hazardous dye at its premises.

He said the situation could have been avoided if the company had taken proper measures to inform its workforce about correct procedures to follow when such a spillage occurred.

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The court heard that the dye had leaked onto the floor of the warehouse in September 2003 after a plastic bag became torn.

The dye was swept up from the floor by a member of staff into a plastic refuse bag which was put into a skip, said Peter Harrison prosecuting.

The skip company was not notified about the dye and after the skip was taken away the dye blew over boats and some cars in the Ipswich Dock marina.

A clean up operation to remove the dye from the affected boats was paid for by insurers.

Mr Harrison said Lansdowne Distribution Limited had information in its possession about the dangers of the dye including the risk of heavy staining and the effects of it coming into contact with eyes and skin or being inhaled.

Mr Harrison said the company had fully co-operated with the Environment Agency at all times and had since put in place procedures to prevent a similar thing happening again.

Simon Stirling, for Lansdowne, said although the company acknowledged its failure on this occasion in general terms it was a well-managed responsible firm aware of its obligation to its employees, the local community and the environment.

He said the company's premises in Felixstowe were clean, tidy and well-organised and the nature of the goods it stored didn't normally result in spillages.

He said the company's principle concerns were warehousing and distribution and not waste disposal. Mr Stirling said on this occasion the staff member who swept up the spilled dye had not been advised to put it in a sealed container and the skip company had not been notified that it had been put in their skip.

Mr Stirling said Lansdowne had no previous convictions and a substantial order of fines and costs by the court could effect the company's employment levels, opportunities for expansion and profitability.

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