Canoeist arrested for not paying to paddle river faces has charges dropped

Thursday, 31 July 2008
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Nigel ConwaySome of you might remember hearing the crazy story of Nigel Conway who was arrested last month after refusing to pay to paddle down a stretch of river in Shropshire, UK...
Nigel ConwaySome of you might remember hearing the crazy story of Nigel Conway who was arrested last month after refusing to pay to paddle down a stretch of river in Shropshire, UK.

To recap, Nigel was paddling down the River Dee river which goes by JJ Canoeing and Rafting Ltd. The company demanded that Nigel pay a fee to paddle past their property.

Long story short, Nigel refused to pay and the police were called in charged him on suspicion of obtaining services dishonestly.

A couple weeks go by Nigel received some good news. Just this week, he received a call from the North Wales police telling him that he will not face prosecution. I am not completely sure why the charges were dropped but I heard that the prosecutors felt it would be difficult to prove since his boat never touched shore. The police said that they were pleased that Nigel remained calm during the whole incident and was very willing to corporate.

To me, the whole thing has turned into a huge mess. I understand that there are two sides to every story but the amount if bad press the JJ's has received from this through the press exposure has got to be a whole lot more damaging to their business then just waiving the boaters fees (or not charging them in the first place).

The paddlesports community is so small that stupid incidents like this can easily tarnish the public eye of the sport.

More info: shropshirestar.com

David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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