Trial starts today for P&O Ferries officer who denies causing death through negligence

The trial of a P&O Ferries’ officer charged in connection with the deaths of three sailors is due to open at Winchester Crown Court in Hampshire.

The Officer, Michael Hubble, 61 of Folkestone, Kent, has pleaded not guilty to charges of gross negligence.

The disappearance of the 7.6m Sailfish, Ouzo, in August 2006, with the loss of all three crew, was investigated in detail by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch and its report made headlines worldwide.

Click here to read the full MAIB conclusions into the Ouzo tragedy

Ouzo left Bembridge on the Isle of Wight on 20 August to sail to Devon for the Dartmouth Regatta, but it never arrived.

The three men on board, James Meaby, 36, from Tooting, south London, Jason Downer, 35, from Kent and Rupert Saunders, 36, also from Tooting, were found in the sea off the Isle of Wight a few days later.

The cause of death for Mr Meaby was a combination of drowning and hypothermia, while the other two died of drowning, post-mortem tests showed.