Tall Ships crew stages a mutiny

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The Independent Online
THE CREW of one of the vessels in the Tall Ships Race will walk off the boat today after being questioned by Scots police investigating the captain's report of a mutiny. The nine-strong crew of Polish students - five males and four females in their late teens and twenties - have refused to complete the last 1,000 miles.

Michal Hizarski, a 22-year-old history student, said: "We want to go home alive not in plastic body bags." But the captain, 64-year-old Martin Jazdzewski, said he called police because he feared problems with immigration officers if the students left the boat.

The students, who chartered the 45ft ketch from the Anchor Yacht Club of Gydnia, the official Polish Navy Club, boarded the Legia at Greenock near Glasgow to join in the race. They missed the start to Lerwick with the rest of the ships so they decided to cross Scotland via the Crinan and Caledonian canals and sail across the North Sea to Denmark.

But Mr Jazdzewski, who has just completed an eight-month voyage as second-in-command of a 180ft brig around Cape Horn, and Mr Hizarski repeatedly clashed. The captain said: "The previous skipper had trouble with Michal and the club commodore decided I should replace him. Michal suggested he would act as skipper. There is room on a boat for only one skipper. Also he is relatively inexperienced. The commodore is dispatching three crew to help... I can see this business ending up in court when we get back."

Police said they questioned several of the crew but decided the affair was a civil matter.