P&O man in court over yacht deaths

Officer of watch denies charge

A P&O ferry officer appeared in court yesterday in the case of three men who died in a boating accident in the Channel last year.

The court heard Michael Hubble, 61, of Folkestone, Kent, was officer of the watch on the Pride of Bilbao on 20 August.

On the same day the 27ft (8.2m) yacht Ouzo, carrying sailors Jason Downer, 35, from Kent, Rupert Saunders, 36, and James Meaby, 36, both from London, was lost. The boat has never been found but the bodies of the three were found off the Isle of Wight a few days later.

Hubble denies manslaughter due to gross negligence. The trial was adjourned to Winchester Crown Court on 16 February and Hubble was released on bail without conditions.