Court: Jury Sees Video Of Defendant’s Interview

August 21, 2018

[Written by Don Burgess]

“I never saw those points. They didn’t have any lights on, any running lights… I saw them at the last possible second.”

Andrew Lake spoke those words to police investigators in a videotaped interrogation the day after his boat ran over the top of a Rigid Inflatable Boat [RIB] that New Zealand visitor Mary McKee was travelling in with two other people.

Mr Lake has denied a charge of manslaughter in relation to the collision, which happened on June 1, 2017, during the America’s Cup.

Detective Constable Seymour Foote led the questioning of Mr Lake in that interview.

That video was played for the jury.

They heard Mr Lake say he put his boat into neutral almost immediately after his 17-foot Mako, the Lazy Buoy, ran up over the top of the boat Mrs McKee was in with her husband Arthur and boat captain Charlie Watson.

He then got into his punt and started to search for the people in it before coming into contact with the RIB with Mr McKee still inside.

“I called 911 and then took that inflatable boat to one of the other ones so I could continue to search around in the water.”

In the videotaped interview, he said he docked his boat at the Ferry Terminal and reported to the police.

“I told police I was involved in a collision,” Mr Lake is heard saying.

Mr Lake insisted he was going just 10 knots, which was the legal limit for the harbour during the America’s Cup.

He then said “I never saw those points. They didn’t have any lights on, any running lights… I saw them at the last possible second.”

He had swerved to avoid a larger red RIB which was travelling to his port side, and he ended up mounting the smaller grey RIB. He also said there was a slightly larger white boat moving to his starboard, which was going faster than his craft and overtook him near White’s Island. Mr Lake said he had initially slowed his speed “a little bit” when he got to Saltus Island.

Mr Lake, 27, also admitted in the video he has been driving boats since he was 16.

Earlier, Taran Card, a survey manager at Bermuda Shipping and Maritime Authority, gave expert testimony about the extent of damages done to the boats due to the collision. Mr Card has taken a certified course to be an accident investigator by the US National Transportation Safety Bureau.

He said Mr Lake’s boat had a 91 HP engine while the grey RIB had a 9.8 HP engine. He further testified that the RIB’s engine was off centre by one inch when he examined the vessel.

Asked to translate how fast 10 knots is in land speed, he said 11.5 mph, 15 knots is 17.25 mph, and 20 knots is 23 mph.

The trial continues.

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