Towing Company Fined $75,000 for Barge’s Sinking

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A NB towing company decided to tow a barge into the heart of a gathering storm. But the barge capsized and sank in rough seas off the coast of Nova Scotia. The company admitted that it didn’t have a valid ship inspection certificate for the barge. In fact, its safety certificate had lapsed at least six years earlier. In addition, the barge sank when it was 37 kilometres from shore—about nine kilometres beyond its legal limit—and it wasn’t supposed to have anyone onboard. The company pleaded guilty under the Canada Shipping Act to jeopardizing the safety of three crew members who narrowly escaped with their lives. The court fined it $75,000 [R. v. Atlantic Towing Ltd., [2011] NSPC 10 (CanLII), March 3, 2011].