Whitby skipper denies sinking vessel

Picture RNLI
Picture RNLI

A boat skipper has appeared in court charged with sinking a rival fishing vessel moored in Whitby Harbour.

Trevor Cross, 49, is accused of deliberately damaging the boat, called Stoney Broke, causing it to sink, on July 4.

The seaman appeared at York Crown Court last Thursday when he denied damaging the fishing boat, which belonged to Whitby skipper Barry Rogers.

The Crown Prosecution Service alleges that Cross tampered with the boat’s rigging to submerge the vessel at Dock End after leaving a pub.

No passengers were on board.

The prosecution claims that Cross wanted to put the fishing boat out of action during the busy summer season. Cross, of Mulgrave Place, Whitby, denies this.

His defence team claim that the boat may have sunk due to a rising tide. The court heard that the ramifications of the incident within Whitby’s close community of skippers had been “immense”.

Judge Paul Batty QC adjourned the case for a trial starting on August 7. Cross was released on unconditional bail. Whitby RNLI launched the inshore lifeboat and the crew took the boat up the harbour to assess the situation.

Station mechanic Richard Dowson said at the time: “We are waiting for low tide and the boat to be resting on the bottom of the harbour and hopefully we will be able to pump the water out and get her floating again.”