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Old 01-04-2009, 22:22   #1
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Boat builder found guilty of killing 4

The owner of a company that built a boat which capsized killing four crew members has been found guilty of manslaughter.
The racing yacht Excalibur sank in rough seas after its keel snapped off the Mid North Coast of NSW in September 2002.

Alex Cittadini and a boilermaker Adrian Presland were both charged with four counts of manslaughter after it was discovered the vessel's keel had been cut horizontally and re-welded insufficiently.

Presland was yesterday acquitted of the charge but the jury asked for more time to deliberate.
This morning in the District Court they handed down a majority verdict of 11 to 1 against Cittidini.

Family members of the victims gasped as the verdict was handed down while Cittadini shook his head.

The crown case against Cittadini was that as company director, he either knew or should have known the keel had been cut or in the alternative, and that he had failed to implement reasonable safety proceedures which would have prevented the tragedy.

Excalibur's fatal voyage: boat builder guilty |
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Old 01-04-2009, 22:57   #2
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I remember when this happened. A terrible tragedy. It is always dangerous commenting on trials unless you heard all the evidence. However it seems that the majority of the jury were convinced that this director was grossly negligent. It will serve as a dire warning to all boat industry firms in Aust that there are strong inducment to ensure that the work they carry out is sufficient for its intended purpose. I just hope that in this case it was a disregard for the safety of the crew and not just a need to blame some one for a terrible mistake that lead to this verdict.
This could lead to the situation that exists in the Aust construction industry where independant engineers are called on to design and certify almost everything. Those same engineers will happily tell you that they over engineer to up to 100% because they arent paying for the materials and only care about never having a failure so as to keep their insurance premiums down. E.G. a job that is calculated to be done with a piece of 3mm steel is beefed up to 5mm for a saftey buffer and then specified as 10mm just in case. We all pay for 10mm instead of a very safe 5mm.
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