Drunken hovercraft pilot jailed

Richard Pease tried to land hovercraft while nearly three times the legal alcohol limit


A hovercraft pilot was jailed for eight months after transporting passengers across the Solent while nearly three times the legal alcohol limit.

Richard Pease, 50, collapsed at the helm of the hovercraft while taking 36 passengers from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight in June, the Daily Telegraph reports.

His colleague was forced to take the controls when he missed the landing pad.

Portsmouth's The News reports that a breath test carried out six hours after the incident gave a reading of 96mg of alcohol in 100 ml of breath. The drink-drive limit is 35mg.

Newport Crown Court heard how Pease has 18 years of experience as a hovercraft pilot.

The BBC reports that sentencing Pease, Judge Susan Evans QC said: "It's tragic that someone of your standing and with such an impressive past career should have destroyed all of that in one day.

"It was an appalling breach of your duty.

"Your actions could have resulted in tragedy but fortunately they did not."

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