61-year-old second officer released on bail
A senior ship’s officer appeared in court yesterday charged with the manslaughter of three friends whose yacht is believed to have been destroyed in a collision with a ferry in the English Channel.
The bodies of skipper Rupert Saunders, 36, and crew members James Meaby, 36, and Jason Downer, 35, were found drowned at sea after their Sailfish 25 yacht Ouzo vanished after they left the Isle of Wight for Devon.
Michael Hubble, 61, a watch officer, was working aboard the P&O car ferry Pride of Bilbao, which was in the vicinity of the Ouzo at the time.
He was charged at Portsmouth Crown court with manslaughter of all three men due to gross negligence between August 20 and August 23 last year.
Mr Hubble, of Folkestone, Kent, was granted unconditional bail to attend Winchester crown court for a preliminary hearing on February 16.
Nick Hawkins, prosecuting, told the court: “These matters refer to the tragic deaths of three yachtsmen on board the Ouzo which came into close proximity with the Pride of Bilbao.”