One of the world's most famous French sailors has been accused of dangerous sailing, having transited the wrong way in a 'separation zone' in the Strait of Pas-de-Calais. According to the British media, the British courts have issued an arrest warrant against Mark Guillemot, veteran French ocean racing sailor.
'Cynical or incompetent?' This the question asked by English journalist Elaine Bunting, when she pulled no punches in an article in Yachting World. The incident occurred when he was circumnavigating Britain in an attempt to set a new speed record in June this year.
His sailboat, Safran, was spotted by radars of the Maritime Coastguard Agency sailing in the opposite direction of traffic on three occasions, claimed the website of Yachting World.
Going against the traffic in any separation zone is dangerous, but this is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.
According to the blog, the skipper, who has just recently entered the Vendee Globe, was summoned to court in Southampton, southern England, on Tuesday and was represented by his lawyer. As a result of his non-appearance, a warrant has now been issued his arrest.
Sailors who break maritime law in Britain have historically been sentenced to heavy fines. This was the case of Antoine Koch in 2006. The French sailor was ordered to pay more than € 18,000 including court costs in a similar case. In 2000, the skipper of the yacht Club Med had paid 12,000 pounds for having similarly sailed illegally.
A statement was issued by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency states: ‘Marc Guillemot is wanted in connection with two charges of travelling the wrong way in the Dover Strait and SUNK Traffic Separation Schemes.'
by Morbihan/Sail-World Cruising
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8:42 AM Mon 8 Oct 2012GMT
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