In the Solent, pleasure craft are legally required to stay clear of commercial shipping
so I would be surprised if this owner escapes legal
prosecution. However, the yacht skipper
should also be banned from regattas for a couple of years if we are to seriously protect our sport of sailing. Race
committees have an obligation to ban irresponsible skippers as they reflect badly on the rest of us with enforcement results and regulations
we will grow to regret.
Addtionally, one comment here on remarks such as "the captain
of the ship can't see for X metres under the bow of his enormous vessel", or similar. As a former bridge watch stander in the US merchant marine
, I can assure everyone that no ship enters crowded waters like the Solent without a bow lookout in radio
contact with the bridge. In a ship of this size, it is likely to be the First Mate, so there are some smart "eyes" on the water
. While it is true a ship's bridge can't see the first X hundred metres, the vessel crosses that distance fairly quickly so the blind spot is shorter than it appears. This is in the same way you can't see the ground up to X metres ahead of your car's steering wheel
, but you may be confident there is nothing there because you could see that space seconds ago before you reached it, and you knew it was empty.