Accused must sit and wait for verdict

The jury in the Manslaughter trial of three yachtsmen who died when their yacht disappeared off the Isle of Wight in August 2006 is into the second day of deliberation.

The accused, Michael Hubble of Kent, was second officer on board P&O Ferry, Pride of Bilbao on the night of 20/21 August. Investigators found that the 37,500 ton ferry had been in close quarters with a yacht on the night, although Hubble claims the yacht was clearly OK after he had taken avoiding action.

Testimony by other members of the ferry crew included the ferry captain, who said that if he had been told of the near miss with the yacht, he would have turned about or tried to contact the vessel.

However Hubble’s defence team produced testimony from the captain of the tanker Crescent Beaune, also in the vicinity of the Isle of Wight, it is claimed. He admitted that his ship was sailing without adequate lookout and that he was unable to say for sure whether his ship had hit Ouzo or not.

Mr Hubble, from Wine House Lane, Capel-le-Ferne, Folkestone, denies three counts of manslaughter through gross negligence and engaging in conduct likely to cause death or serious injury.