Jail threat looms for man who fell asleep in charge of vessel

Falling asleep while drunkenly in charge of a boat and running it aground in Trondra could lead a 37-year-old man being put behind bars, Lerwick Sheriff Court heard this week.

Torbjorn Riise, of Underhoul, East Voe, was warned that he could face jail after admitting to culpably and recklessly navigating a boat, the Joanne B, on 12th October after drinking an excessive amount of alcohol and falling asleep and allowing the ship to run aground.

The court heard that Riise’s behaviour had endangered his own life as well as the safety of other maritime traffic in the area at the time.

Sheriff Graeme Napier told Riise he had pleaded guilty to “a very serious offence”, that it was obvious he had a serious drink problem and “you should not be surprised … if I send you to custody for this”.

The case was adjourned until 20th May and Riise had bail continued on the condition that he is not allowed to be in charge of a vessel pending social inquiry reports.


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