A hovercraft pilot has been jailed after being at least three times over the drink drive limit while at the helm of a passenger vessel.
Before he was able to ferry passengers across the Solent, the pilot concerned experienced near misses with a tanker and a busy pier. He was also unable to steer the craft on to its landing pad as he collapsed at the controls
He had pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to a charge of being master of a hovercraft having consumed excess alcohol.
During sentencing at the Isle of Wight Crown Court, the Judge said: “It’s tragic that someone of your standing and with such an impressive past career should have destroyed all of that in one day.
“It was an appalling breach of your duty.
“You put yourself in a condition where you were unable to discharge your duty as pilot of a hovercraft and your responsibilities to your passengers, the crew and the other users of the Solent.
“Your actions could have resulted in tragedy but fortunately they did not.
It’s tragic that someone of your standing and with such an impressive past career should have destroyed all of that in one day.”
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