Remember this?

Well BBC reports that the skipper of the yacht, Royal Navy lieutenant Roland Wilson, is in court this week accused of negligence in the moments before the August 2011 collision with the 120,000-ton tanker Hanne Knutsen during a Cowes Week race.

Prosecutors allege that Wilson sailed far too close to the tanker, failing to comply with a “moving prohibited zone” of 1,000 meters (0.6 miles) in front and 100 meters (328ft) either side of a vessel greater than 150m (492ft) which ultimately caused the collision.

Almost amazingly, only one member of the eight-man crew of the yacht suffered head injuries in the collision. Another abandoned ship just prior to the collision and was picked up by spectator vessel.

Wilson, who was a serving officer at the time of the crash but is now a reservist, denies three counts of contravening maritime regulations, BBC reports.

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  • http://no fadi alzein

    2nd.marine eng

  • http://ThePetroleumMarineServis mohamed hegazy

    The Petroleum Marine Servis

  • Michael Broughton

    They should have the same law for submarines vs. sailboats also…tho substantially shorter, just as hard to maneuver! F&#$ing idiots!

  • Mike Hunt

    Hey Lt. Wilson…You’re a first rate douche bag…

  • David Anderson

    That was the second bad choice he made, the first was buying a pink spinnaker.

    • sam sharp

      YES blame the sailor he made a poor choice that tanker could not move if he wanted to and the sailor knew this he was in a race in an active shipping lane he could see the tanker I would bet at least 1k away and was a serving RN officer he knows better when a ship of that size is involved power douse not give way to sail William Robb

  • Tom Raod

    I’m amused by the comments regarding shipping lanes and sailboat races. Clearly, none of the surprised commenters have ever sailed into ports like San Francisco, where you couldn’t hold a dingy race without crossing a shipping channel.

    The fact is, sailboat races work wround shipping lanes in heavy traffic areas like San Fran, Galveston Bay, and others every year without incident. One idiot should not be a surprise and should serve as a good warning.

    Nothing to see here. Move along.

  • Paul

    I was taught not to collide with tankers. Still a good idea.

  • http://www.columbia-group.com Jim Greco

    Remember the law of the sea: “Big Ship Sink Little Ship!”

  • Carl McCormick

    The Steel Rule in the International Rules of the Road clearly states “Steel vessels have the right of way over fiberglass vessels”.

  • http://www.jeremiahblatz.com/ Jeremiah Blatz

    So, I race sailboats on the Hudson. If you’re somewhere with a shipping channel, there is going to be RAM traffic through your racecourse. We typically abandon races if the barge/cruise ship is going to interfere with racing, and everyone knows to keep well clear.

    In this particular case, if I recall, the shipping lane was noted in the instructions. These guys have no excuse, and must’ve been much less douchy in a previous life in order to have all survived.

    • sam sharp

      you are not that bright are you please stay off the water the life you save will be yours

      • http://Sails.smugmug.com Taylor Gregg, editor

        Of course sail must give way to power when in shipping lane with vessel of this size. How many sailing skippers dose it take to learn this lesson?

    • Pat Schmidt

      Even assuming the tanker was not in a restricted channel. The claim that “Sail has the right of way” or even that the sailboat was to starboard of the tanker is incorrect. These rules actually only apply when there are 2 vessels in sight of one another. There is no stand on / give way vessel if there are more than 2 vessels, how could there be. However, since the tanker was operating in both a narrow channel and a traffic separation scheme, the sailboat had the obligation not to impede safe passage of the tanker. Though the argument could be made that the tanker was not proceeding at a safe speed given the circumstances (he was doing over 10kts). All that being said, one must always remember the most basic rule of navigation……..TONNAGE RULES!

  • Paul Devaney

    Some of the comments here illustrate perfectly why my MN colleagues and I refer to people like this as WAFIs!!!!

  • Damn Yankee

    Seriously people? Cowes race week is one of the largest regattas in the world. I’ve been through the Solent on a container ship going right through the middle of it. The pilot didn’t seem to mind, but I was sweating bullets. In the end, constrained by draft is constrained by draft. Being an avid racer, I sympathized with the guys trying to make it ahead of our bow so they didn’t collapse their chutes, but you better be ready for the consequences. The radar looked like a light bright there were so many targets…

  • Ronald A Palmer

    Dominic Howley has said it all. With idiot comments of the likes made by William Robb it’s of little wonder why these Sunday sailor boaties get themselves into trouble

  • http://Facebook kenneth duncan

    Days have changed sailing rules should be changed. As a tugbaotcaptain . Have had yachts cross between my stern and tow and I would still be in the wrong

  • James Maugham

    The posts here from people who have absolutely no clue about the international rules of the road and the requirements of vessels in narrow channels certainly prove the adage that empty buckets make the most noise.

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s even funnier that some people are saying, “well the sailboat was to starboard”. Last time I checked, a crossing situation is ONLY between two Power-Driven Vessels.

    “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt”

  • pugwash

    There was also a moving exclusion zone around and in front of the tanker as there is i think with all piolted vessels inbound to fawley, hamble and southampton. The tanker had just had to manoeuvre to avoid a small motor vessel, apparently broken down in the shipping channel and also sounded 5 short and rapid blasts to the yacht. I have also been in and out of southampton on a roro vessel during cowes weeks and generally all the vessels taking part in cowes week know and abide by the local notices to mariners, and local bye laws regarding commercial shipping navigating with a pilot in southampton water.

  • WAFI

    Jeez, you guys are as clueless as the sailors discussing this on their forums. Right of way? Constrained by draft? What are you guys talking about?

    There’s a moving prohibited zone at that spot around any vessel over 150 meters, so the sailor, a serving Royal Navy officer, by the way, should not have been so close to the tanker. However, what makes you think the whole scenario is so obvious from a telephoto YouTube clip where you can’t see any perspective at all? As it turns out, the tanker gave the sound signal for a turn to stbd, which would have taken him into the Thorne Channel towards Southampton Water, where anyone would have expected the tanker to go. However, instead of making the turn to stbd, the tanker instead made a totally unexpected turn to port. It seems the tanker was avoiding a motor vessel ahead with a failed engine. Crunch.

    The sailor was probably already violating the MPZ before the tanker made the unexpected turn, so probably the blame is mostly his, but you guys should not be so hasty to declare someone to be an idiot, when you don’t know anything about the case except what you saw on YouTube.

  • dave w

    Hmmm… kind of hard to tell in perspective of the video clip, but it looks like a couple of the other sailboats (e.g., blue spinnaker about 1:00 in the video) were also pretty darn close aboard the tanker (though avoiding actual collision): that does seem consistent with an unexpected turn by the ship as previous comments suggest.

  • John Eldredge

    In the same manner, I have seen small craft come dangerously close to strings of river barges, including cutting directly across the barge string’s path.

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