Ferry captain arrested and pepper-sprayed for refusing to leave boat in storm

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Ferry captain arrested after reusing to abandon ship in Norfolk
Ferry captain arrested after reusing to abandon ship in Norfolk

A passenger ferry captain is demanding an apology after being arrested for refusing to abandon ship in a storm.

Steve Kingston, who operates the West Lynn Ferry on the River Great Ouse in Kings Lynn, Norfolk, feared his boat could be a danger to the public if she broke moorings during a tidal surge while unattended.

On 5 December last year amid terrible storms in Britain, he informed the council he planned to moor his ferry with no passengers on board at South Quay.

The agreed but ordered him to leave the boat.

He did not take the council's advice to abandon ship, and was ultimately arrested by police, who pepper-sprayed him and threw him in a cell.

A charge of resisting arrest was dropped after a judge said police did not have the power to force him off his boat, and CCTV evidence showed he had not put up a fight.

Speaking to the Daily Mail after the court case was dropped, Mr Kingston said: "I am still bewildered about how the whole situation came about. What should have been a simple passing of high water with my presence, just in case it was needed to attend to any problem that could have arisen, instead turned into an unnecessarily traumatic night.

"The whole thing was instigated by people who don't understand the river or marine situations.

"All other boats... at affected marinas up and down the country would have had crew standing watch on them that night. You can't separate a boat from its owner. A boat without a person is a liability."

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