UPDATED: A hovercraft pilot is due to appear in court tomorrow (Tuesday) accused of being nearly three times over the drink-drive limit following an incident on board one of Hovertravel’s passenger craft back in June.
The captain of ‘Freedom 90’, a man in his 50s from Cowes, is accused of driving a motor vehicle whilst above the legal alcohol limit, namely 96 microgrammes in 100 milliliters of breath – the legal limit is 35 microgrammes. The man, is also charged with being responsible for conduct of a vessel that contravenes Merchant Shipping regulations.
It was originally reported that the pilot had been taken ill whilst at the controls, but it later emerged that he had been arrested and bailed by Police. A member of staff had to take over the controls to land the craft and its passengers safely on the Ryde pad on the evening of 22nd June.
Back in July cross-Solent operator Hovertravel said it was fully co-operating with the external investigation being conducted by the Police and the Maritime & Coastguard Agency and due to the investigation they could not make any further comment.
UPDATE TUESDAY: Richard Pease, 50, from Wyatts Lane in Cowes appeared in front of Magistrates this morning, where he was given unconditional bail to appear at the Isle of Wight Crown Court on 8th September 2014.
No plea has been entered.