On Monday December 2, a jury at Lewes Crown Court heard that David Brooks Marr was using his laptop computer and social media when he should have been on watch. BBC reports that the three men, aged 40, 41 and 50 drowned when seawater gushed into their boat.
In fact, the court heard that the skipper, was "entirely distracted" and only found out about the deadly near-miss his scallop dredger had been involved in hours later, through the radio.
Marr denies failing to maintain a proper lookout. The prosecutor, David Richards, said that the skipper was "entirely unaware" of the James 2, a 16ft angling boat.
Richards went on to say that the boat, James 2, had lacked some of the necessary lighting, but "that did not explain" why Mr Marr "appeared not to have had the slightest awareness" of the boat.
When the men onboard the fishing boat spotted Marr's vessel, the Vertrouwen, was almost half a mile away and not initially think there was any need to worry. The court was also told that while there were life jackets on board, none of the men on board were wearing them.
The one passenger to stay alive, recalls that “the boat went down in an angle and we just said to jump into the water," adding that "when we saw it approaching us that is when we thought it was a danger," remarking that there "no time" to contact the Vertrouwen by radio to avoid the collision.
The trial is still ongoing.
In March, the UK MAIB issued an investigation report on the collision of the commercial fishing vessel 'Vertrouwen' and recreational motor cruiser 'James 2', resulting in loss of three lives, in Shoreham-by-Sea, on 6 August 2017. The report revealed that the accident was resulted from improper lookout.