Sleepy party boat captain causes £1.6m damage after nodding off and hitting pontoon

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A PARTY boat captain nodded off at the wheel and hit a pontoon, causing £1.6million damage, after being kept up all night by his new baby.

Crew flew through the air when the Jewel of London hit the police dock on the Thames.

Party boat Jewel of London crashed on the Thames, in East London, just after 100 passengers had got off it at 11pm
Daniel Wakefield nodded off at the wheel and hit a pontoon after he was kept awake all night by his newborn baby

Skipper Daniel Wakefield, 38, then reversed it into a police launch.

More than 100 passengers had got off at 11pm before the boat crashed in Wapping, East London.

Dad-of-four Wakefield, of Tilbury, Essex, was fined £1,120 for misconduct as master of a vessel.

Judge Philip Bartle told Southwark crown court: “He thought he was doing the right thing, taking care of his family, with dire consequences.”

“I am sure Mr Wakefield fell asleep because he was tired as a result of his commitments at home.”

“He has four children and at the time of the incident his youngest was only a few months old.”


London Party Boats Ltd, who run the Jewel, admitted failing to ensure the safe operation of the ship.

They were fined £5,000 plus £15,225 costs.

Bespectacled Wakefield, sobbed as the court heard the might never again set sail on the Thames.


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