Leisure boat skipper jailed after collision – Fishupdate.com

Leisure boat skipper jailed after collision Published:  02 August, 2005

THE skipper of a Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boat (RHIB) was sentenced to four months in jail following a collision with a buoy in Southampton Water when returning from Cowes Firework Night in August 2004.

Keiron French and a group of friends, left Ocean village, Southampton, in a (RHIB) to travel to Cowes, Isle of Wight, to watch the annual firework display that concludes Cowes Week. This event is attended by hundreds of small local craft from all over the Solent area.

On their return, with French in control of the RHIB, the boat struck an unlit buoy. The RHIB was travelling at about 33 knots and French and one of his party were thrown from the boat and swam to the buoy where they climbed on to it. Of the six people onboard the RHIB, five were seriously injured. One of the casualties subsequently lost the sight of one eye. All the casualties were brought ashore by the Hamble Lifeboat.

In passing sentence His Honour Judge Burford, QC, said that the incident happened at night, at excessive speed outside the main channel and led to the injuries of five of the party. This incident was so serious that a custodial sentence was required. Judge Burford then sentenced French to four months in jail.

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