A CAPTAIN who described himself as the “Dog’s badoodahs” after hitting a yacht was cleared – after a judge accepted he didn’t move from his seat because it was “superb”.
Cap Ian Drummond, 63, was at the helm of the 4,000-tonne Red Falcon ferry when it ploughed into sailor Peter Jackson’s yacht, putting his family in deadly danger.
Ian Drummond outside court where he was cleared of all charges[/caption]
He had been put on trial over the September 2018 smash and Southampton Magistrates Court was told he had not moved from his seat at all during the incident.
Colourful evidence from the veteran seaman – who at the time worked for Red Funnel – saw him declare himself “as good as it gets” as well as the “Dog’s badoodahs on the Solent”.
He denied he should have moved from his perch and said it was “my bloody seat” before praising it with the announcement “The chair is superb”.
Yesterday District Judge Anthony Callaway agreed and cleared him of a charge of misconduct likely to endanger ships and contravening the Merchant Shipping regulations.
Outside court Cap Drummond said he was going to sue his former bosses for sacking him.
He added: “I’m just really relieved. As a Christmas present, I could not have asked for anything more.
“I have never been in this situation before. This has been hanging over my head, and my family’s, for a long time. It’s going to be a lovely Christmas for us now.
“I no longer work for Red Funnel, I was dismissed at the time so I am now taking them to a tribunal.”
Experienced Drummond remained completely “unaware” the Isle of Wight-bound Red Falcon ferry had almost crushed the Phoenix yacht during its 11.7-mile journey across the Solent.
The court heard he only learned of the crash just before his vessel – carrying 202 passengers and 79 vehicles – reached Cowes, Isle of Wight.
When the boats hit, smashed glass was flung across the smaller Phoenix yacht, hurling the four terrified sailors to the ground as it tipped about 70 degrees and almost capsized.
District Judge Callaway ruled Cap Drummond had been RIGHT not to move from his seat during the journey.
He said: “Unfortunately, this was to be a journey the defendant and others are unlikely to forget and which concluded in circumstances which gave rise to this prosecution.
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“It is likely, as I find, that Mr Jackson simply did not see the oncoming ferry.
“I am satisfied the defendant did keep a proper lookout at the material time in the prevailing circumstances and conditions and was not to blame for the resultant collision which is the subject of this prosecution.
“In my judgement, to move is likely to have hampered certain aspects of the lookout.”
Peter Jackson and his wife Julie onboard their yacht[/caption]
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