In Waterkampioen number 10/2015 (www.Hommersom Advocatuur.nl/news) the criminal liability of a skipper was discussed. The case dealt with involved a skipper who had handed over the helm of his vessel to a friend in 2014, who was subsequently killed after bumping his head against a bridge in Maarssen. The skipper was criminally prosecuted and convicted but received no sentence because the court felt he had been punished enough by the tragedy.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office appealed and 200 hours of community service were demanded (again) on appeal: “It is absolutely clear that this suspect did not want it to end so tragically, but the accident could have been prevented if the skipper had taken responsibility and followed the rules”, the Attorney General explained at the hearing. Both the defendant and the victim had drunk too much alcohol and were speeding, whereby the victim did not have a boating license and had also not received instructions. The court of appeal will pass judgment in the near future.