A former Navy lieutenant is charged with negligence at trial after his yacht collided with a 120,000-ton Hanne Knutsen tanker during Cowes Week

A former Navy lieutenant

faces charges of negligence after the 33ft yacht he was skippering

during a Cowes Week yacht race collided with an oil tanker.

Roland Wilson, 31, from

Stanely, Perthshire is accused of contravening three maritime

regulations at Southampton Magistrates’ Court over the incident, which

saw the vessel crash into the side of a 120,000-ton tanker called

Hanne Knutsen.

The collision occurred during

Cowes week in August 2011 when Wilson and his seven crew failed to

acknowledge the 3300ft exclusion zone and allowed the racing yacht Atalanta of Chester to veer into a marked shipping lane during a race.

A rescue operation was launched after several of Wilson’s crewmembers jumped overboard, leaving one person with minor injuries.

The trial is expected to last

for six days, with Wilson facing one charge of failing to conduct a

proper lookout and two charges of impeding the passage of the tanker.

Prosecutor for the Maritime

and Coastguard Agency, Peter Handley, told magistrates: “We don’t say

the defendant didn’t see the Hanne Knutsen at all, that’s obviously not

the case. We do say he failed to take a full appraisal

of the situation.”

The case will be put to a

jury who will decide whether on the balance of probabilities Wilson

acted negligently on the day of the incident. Wilson denies all three

charges of contravening maritime regulations against

him and has been released on unconditional bail.

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Image by Cowes Official Channel