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Is this a nautical version of a troll?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Preacherman, Aug 22, 2003.

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  1. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

    Dec 20, 2002
    Louisiana, USA
    Well, this IS legal in the sense that it includes a court case... and since this is the Legal & Political forum, I guess it fits! :D

    From the Telegraph, London (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/mai...yot23.xml&sSheet=/news/2003/08/23/ixhome.html):

    Couple's round-the-world yacht dream twice scuppered by the drunken sailor

    By Stewart Payne
    (Filed: 23/08/2003)

    A retired couple's dream of sailing round the world has been wrecked by a calamitous Icelandic fisherman who crashed into their yacht twice in one year.

    The second collision occurred when Eriker Olafsson, still feeling remorseful, tried to sail alongside to reinforce earlier apologies for the first mishap.

    Jim and Trish Hughes, who had just completed repairs to their 45ft yacht Dragon Song when Olafsson hove into view the second time, now say they will feel safe only when he has left British waters for good.

    Olafsson's drunken antics landed him in court facing a charge of criminal damage.

    Nigel Hodkinson, defending at Fareham magistrates' court, Hants, said that the case was proof that lightning can strike twice in one place.

    On the first occasion Olafsson caused £25,000 of damage, forcing Mr and Mrs Hughes to cancel their trip of a lifetime. He paid them in cash for the cost of the repairs.

    A year and a day later, after drinks at a party, Olafsson was sailing down the Solent when he spotted the Dragon Song lying at its moorings.

    Graham Heath, prosecuting, said: "He was overcome with a desire to give a more formal and heartfelt apology to the yacht owner for the trouble he caused the previous year. But instead he smashed into the yacht again, getting caught in its swinging moorings for the second time."

    Mr and Mrs Hughes were not aboard their yacht. Witnesses saw Olafsson "taking slugs from a bottle of wine" as he tried in vain to free his 45ft yacht from the moorings of the other. He then "steamed off with the luxury yacht in tow".

    Harbour police arrested Olafsson after he had dragged the Dragon Song five miles from its moorings at Gosport, Hants, to near Portsmouth. Olafsson, a 59-year-old bachelor, admitted causing criminal damage of £18,000.

    Mr Heath told the court: "This case is based around an amazing blunder by Olafsson who managed to wreck the same yacht twice." He said the Icelander, a retired fisherman, had been drinking heavily at a party in Chichester, West Sussex, before setting sail up the Solent, bound for Ireland.

    Mr Hodkinson said: "The fact that Olafsson managed to make this mistake of hitting the same yacht and getting entangled on two separate occasions is proof that lightning really does strike twice.

    "This was a hugely unusual and unlucky mistake. Olafsson has been at sea all his life and, as a former Icelandic fisherman, has sailed in probably some of the worst waters in the world.

    "He is distinctly hazy about what happened but remembers wanting to apologise to the yacht owner for the incident a year before, and the next thing he knew, bang, the two boats struck again. Olafsson is a gentleman who just panicked."

    The defendant, who has already paid compensation for the damage caused by his yacht on June 6 this year, was fined £200 and ordered to pay £118 costs.

    Speaking after the case, Mr Hughes, 55, said the collisions had shattered his life's dream of sailing across the Atlantic for two years in a row.

    He and his wife had sold their house and put their savings into their £150,000 yacht. Mr Hughes, a former builder and developer, said: "What that man has done to me is absolutely incredible. I don't want him ever to apologise to me again. Both times he caused massive damage to the hull and mast."

    He and his wife have been forced to live on a small motorboat while Dragon Song is repaired. "I can never rest sound or leave her alone again unless Olafsson has sailed off into the distance, never to return," he said.

    "I, for one, will never, ever sail anywhere near Iceland, just on the off-chance that he will be there."
  2. Hk Paul

    Hk Paul Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.

    I dont know when I read the drunken sailor thing, the drunk sea captian from the simpsons flashed in my head.
  3. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 20, 2002
    I didn't know Captain Hazelwood had a brother!

  4. Orthonym

    Orthonym Member

    Jun 10, 2003
    Southern Florida
    Maybe (much as i hate to say so) the USCG & FL Marine Patrol have the right idea?

    On second thought, there seems to be an ethnic hierarchy here:

    People from Southern Europe can hold their liquor the best.
    People from Africa almost as well.
    People from Northern Europe not so well (but I can still spell:D )
    People from Asia: It depends.

    My evidence? Almost all of the Nordic countries have had liquor rationing for years. In Italy the kids get wine from an early age and they don't seem to have a serious drunk problem there. France and Uk are interesting cases, what with the mixed populations and cultures in the last thousand years or so. That goes double or triple for the USA, where we have all sorts of people from all kinds of places. I recall a story of Finns taking the train to St. Pete so that they could get stinking drunk on cheap Russian vodka without having to register their purchases with the police, as they would have had to do at home.

    I betcha that this Icelander, had he behaved the same way at home, would have gotten himself seriously athwart his govt, and maybe gotten locked up for a while.
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