Roland Wilson, 32, stood trial in the UK. He is accused of negligence leading to a collision between the sailing yacht he was operating and an oil tanker. The incident occurred during a sailing race in Cowes, at the time Wilson was a lieutenant in the British Navy. One of the crew members was shot in the head and taken to hospital.
The accident happened in August 2011, on the first day of Cowes Week in front of thousands of spectators. Video footage of the accident became a hit on YouTube, so far it has been viewed by more than 850 thousand people.
The sailing yacht Atalanta of Chester «rammed» the oil tanker Hanne Knutsen. All members of her crew served or are still serving in the British Navy
Proceedings in the case are taking place at Southampton Magistrates' Court. The first hearing was held on 9 October. Roland Wilson, who piloted the yacht that day, is accused of failing to comply with local maritime laws that require keeping a certain distance from large vessels. Wilson denies the charges against him and has been released on bail pending the hearing.
According to the prosecutor, the sea that day was calm, visibility was excellent (about 10 miles), winds were in the region of 10-12 knots, and the prosecution believes the crew failed to take all reasonable measures to prevent a collision. Roland Wilson was not certified, but had a long history of sailing and sailing racing and was familiar with the rules of the sea.
The hearing in the case is ongoing.