Rigger wreck captain charged

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The Independent Online
The captain of the world's oldest square rigger, which was wrecked off the Cornish coast with the loss of three lives, was charged yesterday with manslaughter.

Mark Lichfield, 55, reported to Maidstone police station in Kent over the sinking of the 137-year-old Maria Asumpta.

He faces three charges of manslaughter resulting from the crew deaths when the 125-foot wooden vessel went aground on rocks near Padstow, on the north Cornwall coast, on 30 May last year.

He is further charged under Section 32 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1988 of endangering the ship and the lives of her crew.

Lichfield, of Boxley, near Maidstone, and director of Yale Fleet Ltd, based in Lenham, near Maidstone, has been bailed to appear before Bodmin magistrates, in Cornwall, on 19 April.

The three crew members who died were Ann Taylor, 50, of Wallingford, Oxfordshire, 19-year-old Emily MacFarlane, from Felixstowe, Suffolk, and John Shannon, 24, of Queensland, Australia.

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