var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-41362908-1']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']); (function() { var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true; ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://' : 'http://') + 'stats.g.doubleclick.net/dc.js'; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })();
Home / Sporting Events / Fishing / Scots captain of killer trawler was ‘checking WhatsApp’ before fatal boat crash

Scots captain of killer trawler was ‘checking WhatsApp’ before fatal boat crash

Three anglers drowned after their tiny boat was swamped by a fishing trawler whose captain was looking at messages on his phone, a court has heard.

David Marr, 53, of Peterhead, captain of the Vertrouwen, was reading texts on WhatsApp when he should have been keeping a lookout, Lewes Crown Court was told.

The skipper was completely unaware of the screams of the four fishermen as his scallop dredger steamed straight for them.

Waves from the trawler, owned by fishing firm MacDuff, crashed over the tiny pleasure boat about 1.5 miles off Shoreham, Sussex, in 2017.

The four men on board the 5m fibreglass James 2 were forced to jump overboard as the water engulfed them.

Mircea “Mitch” Ilie, 43, his brother-in-law Irinel Popovici, 41, and Traiam Dumitrache, 51, drowned after their boat sank.

Victims (L-R) Tralam Dumitrache, Irinel Popovici and Mircea Ilie
(Image: PA)

Radar data showed the paths of the two boats crossing at 12.25am.

Sussex police found Marr had sent a message to his friend a minute earlier. Barrister David Richards added: “It is very clear Mr Marr was entirely unaware of the James 2.

“It is also clear the James 2 lacked much of the lighting she should have had and the radar reflector device she should have had.

Read More

Top news stories today

“That does not explain why he appears not to have had the slightest awareness of the James 2. He was not paying attention.”

Survivor Elvis Cojocariu, 45, was picked up by RNLI lifeboat and taken to hospital.

Dad-of-four Mitch, who was originally from Romania and owned a bike shop in Brighton, bought the boat weeks before the tragedy and named it after his youngest son.

The Vertrouwen carried on to Grimsby. Marr denies failing to maintain a proper lookout.

The trial continues.

Check Also

Angling Notes: Ellis and Callaghan claim the honours at Lough Melvin

The picturesque village of Garrison in Fermanagh, Northern Ireland came alive last weekend as hundreds …