PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Federal prosecutors who’ve charged a Maine sailboat captain in the death a crew member who jumped overboard are beginning to lay out their case.
The Portland Press Herald reports that maritime experts will testify 66-year-old Rick Smith should’ve intervened long before the crew member jumped in route to the Virgin Islands.
Documents indicate 54-year-old David Pontious had been seasick for three days, had become paranoid and had even attacked Smith before jumping.
Two experts say Smith, of Camden, Maine, should’ve altered course to get help and should’ve initiated life-saving measures. But another expert says Pontious himself is to blame.
Smith, who’s under house arrest in the Virgin Islands, is due to be tried next month. He’s charged under a maritime law for negligence that contributes to a death at sea.