Boat captain charged

Daniel Bazoff, a boat captain, appeared in Summary Court on Wednesday charged with committing a reckless and negligent act on 8 September 2008.

Details of the charge are that, in the North Sound, he ‘recklessly and negligently navigated the vessel Cayman Sky into hazardous sea conditions at a time when the Cayman Islands were under a Tropical Storm Watch and when sea conditions were such that there was a risk of persons being thrown overboard, when neither sea conditions nor his level of experience as a boat captain would permit a safe rescue, thereby endangering human life or safety.’

Caymanian Compass records show the tropical storm system at the time was Hurricane Ike.

No details of the incident leading to the charge were given in court. However, a police report published 10 September referred to a crew member falling overboard as the boat was heading through the main channel. The Cayman Protector vessel and the Cayman Islands helicopter were deployed to carry out a search and the man was brought to shore for assessment by medics.

Bazoff, 26, entered a plea of not guilty and Chief Magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale set his trial for 20 April. Advised that his work permit expires on 22 April, the magistrate asked Senior Crown Counsel Trevor Ward to please note that the trial date must be kept.

Defence Attorney James Stenning asked the court to consider new bail conditions because the police granted bail but did not allow Bazoff to sail any vessel.

The magistrate wondered if they had that power. Mr. Ward volunteered that he could not say he had ever seen a statutory provision to that effect.

The magistrate varied the conditions of bail, adding, ‘I would warn him not to be captaining boats in bad weather.’

Mr. Stenning also asked for the return of his client’s passport, noting there was a Caymanian surety for his bail.

The magistrate said she would not return the passport because Bazoff’s relationship with the island was tenuous. She indicated that if the passport were needed for some immigration purpose Mr. Stenning could reapply.

She required a surety in the sum of $950.