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Captain comes clean

OCT. 6 — A former fishing boat skipper who deliberately scuppered his 80-foot trawler and received a $1.1 million insurance payout confessed to the crime nearly a decade later, after becoming religious.

The man, who is 53 and of Pitcaple, Scotland, confessed what he had done to a friend at a local church two years ago because, according to a report in the Scotsman newspaper, he was overcome by guilt. The friend reported the crime, but waited to do so because the skipper was going through a divorce.

When the former skipper turned himself in he told authorities that he and two crewmembers tampered with valves on the trawler, Seaward Quest, causing water to flood the engine room. The boat sank off Shetland, Scotland, in 1994.

“I was in a terrible state,” the man reportedly told authorities. “I was bursting into tears and was drinking a bottle of whiskey a day. I was in hell on earth. … I thought if I got a new boat it would be forgotten about. I was utterly wrong about that.”

The man pleaded guilty to giving false information to insurance agents, the report says. His sentencing has not yet been scheduled.

— Jason Fell