Please select your home edition
Edition
PredictWind.com 2014

British yacht skipper found guilty after collision with tanker

by Sail-World Cruising round-up on 26 Oct 2013
Hanne Knutsen and the incident that has resulted in a guilty verdict for the skipper of the yacht .. .
A British skipper who argued that the large tanker Hanne Knutsen had sounded its horn to indicate it was to turn to starboard but then did not carry out the manoeuvre, leaving him in a dangerous position in front of the vessel, has nevertheless been found guilty of contravening maritime regulations.

The Royal Navy officer who was in charge of a yacht which collided with an oil tanker during Britain's Cowes Week in the Solent has been found guilty of three counts of contravening the regulations.

Roland Wilson, a lieutenant in the RN Reserves, was convicted of failing to keep a proper lookout and two counts of impeding the passage of a vessel following a five-day trial at Southampton Magistrates' Court.

The court heard that the 32-year-old was in charge of the 33ft (19.8m) yacht Atalanta of Chester which was in collision with the 869ft (265m) Hanne Knutsen on the first day of the sailing regatta in August 2011, and watched from the shore by around 100,000 spectators, despite his having seen the tanker from five miles (8km) away.

Footage of the incident, in which one crew member suffered minor head injuries and another abandoned ship, was posted on YouTube and has been viewed more than 900,000 times.

During the trial, Charles Row, prosecuting, claimed that Wilson, who owned and skippered the yacht, sailed his boat, which had seven other crew members on board, 'perilously' into the path of the 138ft (42m) wide Hanne Knutsen.

Mr Row said Wilson failed to comply with maritime regulations which required him to maintain a moving prohibited zone (MPZ) of 1,094 yards (1,000m) in front and 109 yards (100m) either side of a vessel greater than 492ft (150m) long.

Wilson told the court that the tanker had sounded its horn to indicate it was to turn to starboard but then did not carry out the manoeuvre, leaving him in a dangerous position in front of the vessel.

The trial heard that a motor vessel, the Joy C, had lost power and caused the Hanne Knutsen to change its intended course.

Wilson, a physics graduate from Durham University, told the court he joined the Royal Navy in 2006 and left in February this year but still remains a reservist.

He said he had a short-lived position at financial services company Credit Suisse after he left the Navy until the impending court case came to light. He said he is now working on new designs for inflatable boats.

He was fined £3,000, ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £15, and made to pay costs of £100,056.68.

In passing sentence, Judge Anthony Calloway said:

'Fortuitous it was that there was no loss of life. The potential for even greater and tragic consequence is, in my judgement, apparent.

'This was not some Saturday afternoon jaunt by some inadequate vessel crewed by inexperienced, clueless and foolhardy people who frankly have no business being on the water at all. The yacht took a decision, and as I find the wrong decision, to sail towards the problem into the path of the tanker across a narrow channel. It should have kept clear and in the worst event used her engine.'

Captain Jeremy Smart, Head of Enforcement with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said:

'Compliance with the international regulations avoids collisions. It was very fortunate that Mr Wilson’s actions did not result in very tragic consequences. This case should serve as a reminder to all who use the water that a good lookout, a full appraisal of the situation and early action is essential to avoid incidents like this occurring.'
Barz Optics - Melanin LensesZhik Yachting 660x82Festival of Sails 2017 660x82

Related Articles

Fifth Blog from on board Perie Banou II
Jon Sanders is closing in on Reunion and Mauritius The west coast of Australia is now a long way behind. Then it was 3 reefs in the mainsail. Windy. A wind one gets in the region - history shows it has been the same over the past 400 years - Southerlies. Soon the wind bends. And we get the South East trades proper. For the first 1,000 Nautical Miles the Trades were what I expected. Very strong southerlies leaving the Australian shore (Shark Bay).
Posted on 2 Dec
Predictwind release improved racing and cruising routing function
PredictWind has released a major upgrade to its Routing function, taking a much more graphic and interactive approach PredictWind has released a major upgrade to its Routing function, taking a much more graphic and interactive approach to what has been a black art of weather routing, used to chose the fastest route for racers or most comfortable route for cruisers.
Posted on 28 Nov
Only room for one at the top
The results of RMIT's (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) independent testing are in. The results of RMIT's (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) independent testing are in. Zhik® is the market leader in waterproof durability with a new standard that replicates the real world sailing environment and conditions. It is an astounding four times more so than the previous leader.
Posted on 28 Nov
Beneteau Cup – A statement in family and time
Every other deity with a nautical interest seemed to sense the importance of the occasion and delivered in spades Flagstaff Marine delivered a terrific regatta to mark the 25th Beneteau Cup on Sydney Harbour. It seemed fitting that Beneteau had two factory representatives there as well, headed up by Director, Beneteau Group Asia Pacific, Thibaut de Montvalon and also Asia Sales Manager, Beneteau Group Asia, Vianney Guezenec.
Posted on 28 Nov
Parlier reigns supreme in Hydrofoil Worlds
The south westerly breeze kicks over the land mass over north facing beach, making for flat water despite strong wind. Whatever the shortcomings of the Fremantle Doctor on the first day of competition, were made up for in spades on day two, when the wind kicked in early at 15 knots and quickly built to 18 with gusts as high as 26. The Rockingham course is perfectly suited to such conditions. The south westerly breeze kicks over the land mass over the north facing beach, making for flat water despite strong wind.
Posted on 27 Nov
25th Beneteau Cup - Great weather. Great times. Great brand.
The 25th Beneteau Cup on Sydney Harbour was filled with a genuine sense of joy. The 25th Beneteau Cup on Sydney Harbour was filled with a genuine sense of joy. Flagstaff Marine, together with regatta partners Sydney City Marine, Mark Anderson’s Boat Transport and d’Albora Marinas, can be very proud of the achievement, but it is the owners and crews who make it all possible. Here then are some of the pics of their day! Full report to follow…
Posted on 26 Nov
Ensign want to sell your boat!
Ensign have had such a successful sales year that they are now looking for more pre-used stock to sell. Ensign, one of Australia’s largest yacht brokers, have had such a successful sales year that they are now looking for more pre-used stock to sell. At their head office location at Main Beach, Queensland, they can offer amazing rates on berthing while the boat is on sale at their Marinas Cove Marina and that means great exposure.
Posted on 24 Nov
Fourth Blog from on board Perie Banou II
Oh no - not the coffee cup Oh no - not the coffee cup - Jon keeps us all entertained as he approaches Reunion Island. The B&G chartplotter tells me since leaving the pleasant mid Western Australian town of Carnarvon (by world standards, an isolated town), that I have sailed some 2559 NM and have 751nm to go to Le Port Reunion Island. French. Reunion is a Suburb (department) of Paris. Population 844,000.
Posted on 23 Nov
Third Blog from onboard Perie Banou II
Wind over the last week has been quiet and mild - Trade Winds from South East and South South East. It is 0830am here. 1030 in Western Australia. Windy. Rather Windy. Wind over the last week has been quiet and mild - Trade Winds from South East and South South East. Barometer 1018 to 1020 whatever they are. Last night I tapped the barometer and it sorta went oops. 1015hPa. Blimey.
Posted on 18 Nov
Beneteau Cup - the 25th is the 25th
Beneteau Cup - the 25th is the 25th Flagstaff Marine will present the 25th Beneteau Cup on Friday, November 25. It is always a great day, both on and off the water, with loads of door prizes, great music and fantastic times assured. Of course, to be a part of it you do have to book in! You can enter this historic event right https://www.topyacht.com.au/db/aus/series_select.php?EventID=681!HERE!new and now - so hop to it...
Posted on 15 Nov