Man arrested

P&O employee arrested over Ouzo deaths

Thursday September 21st 2006, Author: Thedailysail, Location: United Kingdom
Police have arrested a 61 year old P&O employee over the deaths of James Meaby, Rupert Saunders and Jason Downer – the crew of the Bembridge based 25 foot sailing boat Ouzo.

The crew were delivering their boat to the Dartmouth Regatta in Devon in August when it came to light that the boat had been lost and all three sailors had died. The body of James Meaby was first discovered by a fishing boat on the 22nd of August south of the Isle of Wight, the bodies of his two fellow sailors were found the following evening. No wreckage of the Ouzo was ever found.

The incident grabbed major headlines as there was no VHF mayday or telephone call from the yacht leading to suspicions that the yacht had either suffered a catastrophic failure or that it had been in collision with a much larger vessel.

Police quickly concentrated their attention on the P&O ferry the Pride of Bilboa examining the hull of the ferry and also the vessel’s ‘black box’.

The Portsmouth News says that the man arrested on Wednesday was a ‘watch officer who was working on the ferry at the time of the incident’.

The BBC Hampshire website says that the man 'was questioned on suspicion of causing manslaughter through gross negligence before being released on bail pending further inquiries.'

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