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Sleepy French skipper fined for hitting England

by Lee Mylchreest on 11 Sep 2013
Sleepy on watch SW
If you have ever felt sleepy at the wheel of your boat, remembering this story might help keep you awake a little longer. It was a fishing boat, not a sailing boat, and he was French, ending up on an English shore. (Lucky it's today not a couple of hundred years ago, or it might have been much worse for him.) There's also a lesson about good watch-keeping here.

The skipper of a French fishing boat who fell asleep at the wheel causing it to beach off the Lizard in Cornwall UK has been fined more than £5,000.

Fisherman Giles LeMaitre, 38, from Matigon, France, was in control of the Scuderia when it became stranded off the Lizard Peninsular at 10.30pm last Wednesday evening.


Mr LeMaitre pleaded guilty to two charges, failing to discharge his duties correctly and not keeping a proper look out.
The French skipper will pay £5,600 in fines and total of £5,555 in legal costs and victims surcharge.

Mr LeMaitre admitted to falling asleep whist navigating and watch keeping the 20 litre trawler after sending his other four crew members below deck to sleep.

He had only had one hour sleep the night before and was taking codeine medication to help with leg pains the court heard.

None of the crew were hurt during the incident, but around 10 tonnes of diesel were leaked in to picturesque Lankidden Cove.

The trawler was finally removed five days later.

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