A senior director of a canal boat company must pay £3,600 for unlawfully running passenger boats.

Ian Clarke and the company Pennine Cruisers Ltd pleaded guilty to four charges of operating passenger vessels in North Yorkshire without valid passenger certificates.

Canal boats ‘Sam’ and ‘Leo’ operate on a section of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal at Skipton and are authorised to carry no more than 12 passengers. Any more would require the boats to be surveyed and issued with passenger certificates.

In July last year, a Maritime and Coastguard Agency surveyor saw 13 passengers on board ‘Leo’ and spoke to the company.

‘Sam’ was filmed operating with 13 passengers on board the following month while under the control of Clarke.

The incident followed warnings to the company about carrying too many passengers.

Clarke was sentenced yesterday at Skipton Magistrates’ Court. He was fined £500 for both offences and ordered to pay £2,500 in costs plus a £100 surcharge.

There was no separate penalty for the company.