Jury still considering charges of engaging in conduct as a seaman that was likely to cause death or serious injury
P&O Ferries’ Second Officer, Michael Hubble has been found not guilty of the manslaughter of the three crew of the yacht Ouzo, who died off the Isle of Wight in August 2006.
The prosecution failed to prove that the 37,500 ton ferry had caused the yacht to sink, although Hubble did not deny taking avoiding action to miss a yacht at around 1AM on 21 August, 2006. He maintained that the yacht was clearly OK after he had taken avoiding action.
Hubble’s defence team produced testimony from the captain of the tanker Crescent Beaune, which was also in the vicinity of the Isle of Wight. The tanker captain admitted that his ship was illegally 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, denied three counts of manslaughter through gross negligence and engaging in conduct likely to cause death or serious injury.
The jury at Winchester Crown Court is still considering separate charges under the Merchant Shipping Act of engaging in conduct as a seaman that was likely to cause death or serious injury to James Meaby, 36, Jason Downer, 35, and Rupert Saunders, 36.