The captain of the boat was looking at his phone when his trawler killed three men overboard
The owner of a boat who was looking at his phone when his trawler killed three men on another boat overboard has been jailed for a year.
David Marr was sending WhatsApp messages while surveying aboard his 85-foot trawler, the Vertrouwen, in August 2017.
While cruising off the coast of West Sussex, he came dangerously close to another ship, the James 2, despite his crew “ giving him a frantic signal to try to avoid a disaster, ” a court said.
The James 2 was swamped by waves and sank, while three men who fell overboard drowned.
Marr was convicted on Friday of failing to maintain proper oversight, contrary to Merchant Shipping (Distress Signals and Prevention of Collisions Regulations) Regulations Four and Six of 1996, following a trial at Brighton Crown Court.
Marr, from Towerhill in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, was jailed for 12 months.
David Marr was on the lookout for the Vertrouwen in August 2017, but did not notice a smaller vessel while using his phone
Just after midnight on August 6, 2017, the Vertrouwen passed very close to the ship James 2, which was submerged and sank.
Romanian nationals Mercea “Mitch” Ilea, 40, Irinel Popovici, 41, and Treaiam Dumitrache, 50, were on board the James 2 and drowned.
The fourth man on board, Elvis Cojocariu, was found the next morning suffering from hypothermia.
The smaller ship, the James 2, was submerged by waves as it passed the Vertrouwen, and sank as a result, four men were swept overboard, causing a huge search and rescue operation off shore. off the West Sussex coast in August 2017. Three men drowned before they were reunited. could be saved
He said at trial that he and his colleagues saw the Vertrouwen about a mile away and the four men signaled ‘like mad’ before the collision.
Despite this, the Vertrouwens continued in the same direction at the same speed and their boat was swamped by the waves, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.
He described having a clear view of the Vertrouwen bridge as it passed and he could not see anyone there.
Libby Clark, of the CPS, said: ‘In our case David Marr had not paid enough attention, if at all, when he was on shift.
If he had, he would have seen the men, who frantically signaled to him in an attempt to avoid disaster.
Mircea “ Mitch ” Ilie, 40, was among three men not to land after the crash
Traiam Dumitrache, 50, was pronounced dead after his body was taken from the sea
Irinel Popovici, 41, also failed to make it back to shore after the sinking of the James 2 in 2017
Elvis Cojocariu, the only survivor of the four, told court the trawler ‘kept coming in’
“ Instead of constantly checking to make sure he knew what was going on there it seemed like he was doing something else and even after his actions sank the James 2 he continued to sail , oblivious to the fact that a ship was sinking and that three men would lose their lives due to his lack of vigilance.
‘Evidence showed that he could have seen the lights on the boat for six minutes before the near crash, but he continued to sail directly towards the boat with tragic consequences.
‘It was not unusual for small fishing boats, like the James 2, to be in this area and the Respondent should have been mindful of this, and David Marr should have used all means at his disposal, such as the ‘requires maritime regulations, to establish what, if any, might be in the coming sea.