Liquid Vortex case: Two acquitted of all charges

Liquid Vortex rescue
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In a case that could have world-wide ramifications, two professional sail-trainers have been finally acquitted of all charges in relation to an incident that occurred off the south coast of Britain during stormy weather last January.

Owner of the sailing school Hot Liquid Sailing Ltd, Jason Manning, had been accused of not being aware of the current and forecast weather for a voyage to London.

The skipper of the yacht, Charles Sturrock, was cleared of a similar charge at Southampton Crown Court.

Four people had to be airlifted from the yacht Liquid Vortex during stormy weather in January. (See http://www.sail-world.com/CruisingAus/Sail-training-crew-rescued-in-60knot-weather/92536!original_Sail-World_account of the rescue.)

Mr Manning, 36, of Pluto Road, Eastleigh, was not on board at the time.

The jury could not reach a verdict on another charge against Mr Sturrock, 51, of Moors Farm, Shropshire, which alleged a failure to discharge his duties to identify and assess risks to the vessel and crew.

The prosecution has been given 14 days to decide whether or not to seek a retrial. The two men had already been acquitted formally of four other charges during the trial.