UPDATE: Drunk sailor admits charge after 60-ton boat runs aground

The boat could be refloated at high tide (Pic: Fleetwood Beach Kiosk)
The boat could be refloated at high tide (Pic: Fleetwood Beach Kiosk)

A sailor who skippered a 60-ton trawler into a sand bank admitted being drunk in charge of a boat.

Michael MacEachern, 45, was twice over the drink sailing limit when he sailed onto a sand bank called the Tiger’s Tail.

Police arrested the 60-ton fishing boat's skipper after it ran aground close to Fleetwood docks in the early hours of the morning

Police arrested the 60-ton fishing boat's skipper after it ran aground close to Fleetwood docks in the early hours of the morning

The whelk trawler, the Corontine, became firmly stuck on the sandbank at the mouth of the River Wyre estuary at Fleetwood in the early hours of yesterday.

MacEachern of Sherwood Grove, Huntington, York, admitted being drunk in charge of the craft under Marine Law.

Chrissie Hunt, prosecuting at Blackpool Magistrates Court, said that the RNLI and Coastguard rescue craft were launched and five crewmen rescued.

She said that at first the skipper refused to quit the vessel and had to be persuaded to do so. When he was taking back into port he was breath tested and had 61 microgrammes of alcohol in his blood - nearly twice the limit.

The trawler's location, shown on MarineTraffic.com

The trawler's location, shown on MarineTraffic.com

It was his second conviction for the same offence magistrate heard. The first was in 2012.

Steven Townley, defending, told how the trawlers had unloaded its catch of whelks when the skipper decided to go drinking in the port.

He went back to his craft and fell asleep and was woken by the crew when they realised the tide was rising and they needed to sail.

The lawyer said: “It is a difficult channel to sail but he felt fine. However he did miss one of the lights meant to aid skippers out to sea.

“He says he drank about five pints and felt quite capable of skippering the trawler.”

He said his client was self-employed, taking a percentage of the worth of his catch.

Magistrates sent him for sentence at Preston Crown Court and asked for probation reports to be prepared on him.