Skipper admits falling asleep while on watch
The skipper of the French fishing vessel Scuderia which ran aground near Lizard Point has been handed a hefty fine after admitting falling asleep while on watch.
Gilles Lemaitre was ordered to pay £11,155 in fines and costs after pleading guilty to endangering his vessel and crew, together with failing to keep a proper look-out, after falling asleep.
He appeared at Truro Magistrates yesterday in connection with the beaching of the Scuderia on Wednesday, August 28.
The 38-year-old admitted the incident had been caused when he fell asleep on the bridge after having had little sleep when off-watch and self prescribing codeine tablets.
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Tony Heslop, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency area operations manager for the South West, said it had been an avoidable incident.
"There are no excuses for the person responsible for navigating the vessel to fall asleep on the job," he said.
"More so when that person is the skipper who has taken medication that could impact on him staying awake and alert.
"He could have called one of the other crew members to come to the wheelhouse and take over.
"This was a serious incident which could have had much more severe consequences."