Saving Gipsy Moth - Skipper and mate are dismissed

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The following statement about the dismissal of skipper Antonia Nicholson and first mate Chris Bruce was issued by David Green, CEO of the UK Sailing Academy:

The following statement about the dismissal of skipper Antonia Nicholson and first mate Chris Bruce was issued by David Green, CEO of the UK Sailing Academy:

“The passage plan constructed by the skipper and the mate, which gave a two-mile offing from the reef, is considered to have

Read the other stories in this package: Saving Gipsy Moth IV   Saving Gipsy Moth - How she got into trouble

been ill-conceived, particularly given the navigational challenges of the area and the approaching hours of darkness.

The last plotted position of the vessel was at 1615, and all the necessary navigation equipment, pilot books and charts were aboard the vessel. The skipper and the mate, therefore, had available to them all necessary means to navigate the vessel safely.

From that point there was a gradual deterioration in the course made good toward the reef, which was not detected. At 1800 hours the vessel was already perilously close to the reef. Although a lat/lon position was taken from the GPS at that time and written in the log, it was not plotted on the chart.

A change in helm after 1800 hours might have resulted in an exacerbation of the course error. The skipper and the mate did not supervise this change in helm. The vessel continued toward the reef, which it struck at around 1815.

Had the skipper or mate navigated the vessel at any stage during that two-hour period, by the simple means available to them, the course error and the potential danger to the vessel would have been detectable and an alteration of course would have been possible, thus resulting in this incident being avoided.

Following a UKSA board of inquiry the skipper and first mate have both been dismissed from the academy with a right of appeal.”