Marc Guillemot faces arrest for failing to turn up in UK court to face navigation charges

An arrest warrant has been issued today for French solo sailor Marc Guillemot after he failed to turn up in court yesterday to face charges in the UK.

Guillemot faces prosecution for ignoring ship traffic separation schemes through the Dover Strait during an attempt to break the Round Britain record in June.

A statement was issued by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency states: ‘Marc Guillemot is wanted in connection with two charges of travelling the wrong way in the Dover Strait and SUNK Traffic Separation Schemes.”

This is quite a serious charge – the MCA has historically taken a dim view of professional mariners who flout international collision regulations in what is the busiest shipping route in the world. Those who have ignored them have been given hefty fines.

In the last sailing-related case the MCA brought to court in 2006, they prosecuted fellow French sailor Antoine Koch on a similar charge. He was fined £15,000 plus £2,600 in costs and the magistrates threw the book at him, saying he had put lives at risk.

I’ve written more about the case and a previous prosecution of Grant Dalton on this blog.