x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Powerboat crushed Emirati, 72, prosecutors say

Dubai International Marine Club employee is accused of negligence in the early morning wreck, in which his craft hit a stationary fishing boat.


DUBAI // A powerboat driver denied responsibility for a boating accident that killed a 72-year-old Emirati fisherman, a Dubai court heard this morning.
The defendant, DE, 37, from Lebanon, worked as a diver and sailor at the Dubai International Marine Club, according to court records. He denied charges of causing the death of a person due to negligence and lack of attention as well as causing Dh31,000 in damage to property before the Dubai Court of Misdemeanours.
Prosecutors said that on May 3, 2010, DE was driving a boat owned by DIMC. He was speeding, prosecutors said, and hit the boat DP 419, which was stopped behind the fishing port to pull fishing traps from the sea.
According to court records, the victim, AM, a businessman and owner of fishing boats, was seated next to the engine on his boat as two workers pulled the traps.
Shortly after 6:30am, the workers on AM’s boat screamed him that a speeding boat was coming directly at them. They then jumped into the sea, court records show.
The suspect’s boat hit AM's boat, the impact driving it on top of the other craft and crushing AM, records show.
KF, a worker on AM's boat, told prosecutors that after the accident, they called the police. An ambulance rushed AM to Rashid Hospital, his testimony in court records said.
DB, an employee at DIMC, said DE told him to load seven floating barriers onto the boat, which was bound for the World islands, court records said.
He added that five of the two-meter-high barriers were stacked at the front of the boat and two on the left and right sides, records show.
“I wasn’t able to see clearly because of the barriers,” he told prosecutors, adding that DE was driving the boat at 30 knots (56kph), despite the lack of visibility. Suddenly, he testified, the crash happened.
“Our boat flew in the air, then landed on another boat. At that point I jumped into the sea,” DB said in records.
A forensic report confirmed that AM suffered severe injuries to his head and left lung. He suffered multiple chest bone fractures and internal bleeding in his brain.
AM remained in the hospital until he died on August 25 from organ failure.
The court adjourned the hearing to March 15 to allow DE's lawyer to read the case file.