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Belgium-bound ship run aground by absent-minded captain

12:38 02/09/2013

A Polish captain ran his ship aground as he tried to sail from Scotland to Belgium, reports the Daily Mail. The man plotted a straight line from Scotland to Belgium - forgetting that England was in the way, it is claimed. An investigation has revealed that Tadeusz Dudek had been using an unapproved GPS device - similar to a car's satnav - to navigate. The lookout on board the 80 metre-long MV Danio cargo ship was asleep when the enormous vessel crashed into Farne Islands, off the North-East coast of England last March. The disaster at the Farne Island nature reserve, in Northumberland, sparked fears at the time it would break up and its 27 tonnes of diesel fuel and 1,500 tonnes of timber would decimate the islands' wildlife. “They basically said ‘well OK we're sailing from Perth and we're going to Antwerp and we'll draw a line and we'll go the quickest way possible’, without really thinking,” coastguard surveyor Alan Thompson told a BBC documentary. Following the accident, Thompson detained the vessel at Blyth port. “[Dudek] was using an unapproved electronic chart plotter,” ha said, “which is basically a bit like your GPS for the car.” The German owner of the Danio, Frank Dahl, told the BBC that he blamed the captain and the first mate for the accident. The ship was floated away after running aground but new research shows the captain was trying to sail a straight line from Scotland to Antwerp - and forgot about England's jutting-out coastline in the middle. British authorities have yet to decide whether to bring criminal charges.

Written by The Bulletin