Drunk hovercraft pilot is caught on video failing to land the craft after passing out at the wheel

Richard Pease, 50, has been jailed for eight months for being in charge of a passenger hovercraft while drunk

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The Independent Online

CCTV footage of a drunk hovercraft pilot unsuccessfully attempting to land his vessel has been released.

The pilot, Richard Pease, of Cowes, Isle of Wight, has been jailed for eight months for being almost three times the drink-drive limit while driving passengers, under the Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003.

Pease was found to have 96 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of his breath while in charge of the hovercraft.

The footage was recorded of the incident on 22 June. There were 36 passengers on board at the time and he had driven a total 134 passengers on the ride from Portsmouth to Ryde on the Isle of Wight that day.

The judge, Susan Evans, sentenced the 50-year-old Pease at Newport Crown Court yesterday. She said: “You put in jeopardy the safety of your passengers, your crew and other vessels in the Solent.

"This was a grave dereliction of duty and your actions could have resulted in tragedy.”

Pease had driven hovercrafts for 20 years and previously had an unblemished record.

A fellow pilot had to get on board and take over the craft in order to drive it safely on to land and paramedics were at the scene to treat the pilot who had collapsed at the controls, the Mirror reported.