Second mate on tanker in fatal English Channel smash found guilty of killing captain in doomed ship

The second officer of a chemical tanker, Dutch Aquamarine, has been found guilty of manslaughter at Lewes Crown Court in Sussex.

Brian Roberts was the officer in charge of the watch aboard the 4671 gross ton ship when she struck the 1009 GT coaster Ash 10 miles off Hastings last October.

As the overtaking vessel Dutch Aquamarine should have kept clear but instead she hit the Ash astern tearing through her accommodation and then the hold.

Ash sank immediately: her crew of six being picked up by a rescue boat from the Dutch Aquamarine. However her master, Wolfram Gross who was plucked from the sea by the Lee on Solent Coastguard helicopter was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.

Poor watchkeeping had been the cause of the collision, the court heard.