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Skipper to pay for rude welcoming

MARCH 6 — A French skipper was ordered to pay damages to a British Royal Navy crew for dumping head waste on them as they were about to board his fishing boat.

The British crew was attempting to perform a routine inspection of a boat skippered by Jerome Vicquelin when the French crew discharged its sewage pipe over the side of the boat, covering the navy crew in waste, Scotland’s Daily Record newspaper reported. The incident happened in the English Channel.

Royal Navy Lt. Andrew Floyd tried to avoid the spill by climbing the fishing boat’s rope boarding ladder when the rope snapped and Floyd fell back into the sewage-filled dinghy, according to the report. Despite being covered in sewage the crew reportedly completed its inspection of the fishing boat, L’ Europe, and found that the crew had broken several rules, including failing to provide a safe boarding ladder and under-recording fish species. The crew escorted L’ Europe to PortlandHarbor in Dorset, England. The Royal Navy crew had to be hosed down before returning to their vessel, the HMS Severn.

“All six men were covered and the smell was nauseating,” HMS Severn commander Rex Cox says in the report. “I don’t think they were very happy at all.”

Vicquelin appeared in court the following day and was ordered to pay nearly $10,000 in fines, the report says. He was also ordered to pay nearly $100 to each of the Royal Navy crewmembers and about $180 to Lt. Floyd.

“This looks like the first instance of its kind,” says Cox in the report. “We have never heard of it and neither had anybody at court.”

— Jason Fell