Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ouzo Verdict

The verdict came out today on role of the crew of the Pride of Bilbao in the loss of the Ouzo - and it was not guilty. This was despite the fact that the yacht was clearly within at most a couple of feet of the ferry with its walls of steel and swamping wash.

Of course it is necessary to prove beyond reasonable doubt to find someone guilty, and those high standards are there to ensure that the innocent do not suffer, and so it is right that if there was such doubt that the verdict can only be, as it was, not guilty.

However what I don't understand is the figure above (taken from the BBC web site) which shows the defence's claim that the sinking could be due to the tanker Crescent Beaune and happened at 01:40 after the encounter with the ferry at 0107 but further back towards port.

Maybe the figure is wrong, but the only way the Ouzo could have been at that position would have been if it had been returning to port, which would only be plausible if it had been damaged in its encounter with the Pride of Bilbao.

So is he defence's argument that though they damaged the Ouzo in a close encounter and didn't stop to assist, that is ok as the yacht would have been still afloat? Which to me would be admitting to poor seamanship even if not manslaughter.

Does anyone know any more details of the arguments other than this from the BBC site?

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