A north-east man has been charged in connection with a boat crash in which three anglers died.
David Marr, 53, of Towerhill, Peterhead, faces a marine shipping offence in relation to a collision of vessels in the early hours of August 6 2017.
According to Sussex Police, Mircea Ilie, 40, Irinel Popovici, 41, and Traiam Dumitrache, 50 – all Romanian nationals – died as a result of the collision.
It involved a recreational motor cruiser called James 2 and a larger scallop-dredging boat called Vertrouwen, owned by Mintlaw-based Macduff Shellfish (Scotland) which was en route to Grimsby.
It happened in Sussex Bay – a mile and a half from Shoreham Harbour in West Sussex. Police and the Maritime Accident Investigation Branch carried out a joint investigation.
Marr was charged with being the person in charge of failing to maintain a proper lookout while being the person responsible for the conduct of a vessel.
He appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on March 7 this year and pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Marr was given unconditional bail during the hearing.
Under English law, the case was deemed beyond the jurisdiction of magistrates and the case has moved up to the Crown Court.
Marr is due to appear at Lewes Crown Court in East Sussex next Thursday for a pre-trial hearing.
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At the hearing, legal counsel will inform the judge if they are ready to proceed to trial and arrangements for a trial could be put into place.
A report published by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch concluded none of those who were on the James 2 – who were out fishing for mackerel – were wearing lifejackets.
A fourth man on the James 2 was rescued from the water by a passing fishing vessel five hours after the crash.