BVI News

Two face court after boats crash in BVI

Magistrate’s Court

Two natives of the United States have been called before the Magistrate’s Court to answer to several charges following a 2015 boat collision that left one of the accused men nursing injuries.

Those charged are 55-year-old boat captain John Magnaldi, and Soldiers Hill resident Ahmad Mahoney.

Magnaldi shoulders six charges – unsafe operation of a vessel, conduct endangering ship and person, failure to proceed at safe speed, failure to maintain a proper look out, failure to give way in a crossing situation, and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Meanwhile, Mahoney pleaded not guilty to the two charges against him – failure to maintain a proper look out, and unsafe operation of a vessel.

The prosecution alleged that Mahoney boarded his dinghy at the CSY Dock and left the harbour en route to West End on December 15, 2015.

While he was travelling in the vicinity of Village Cay, a fishing vessel being operated by Magnaldi appeared.

Mahoney began to experience steering issues and both vessels collided, the court heard.

Mahoney, who reportedly was thrown from his dinghy during the crash, suffered injuries.

A report was made to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force.

During an interview with law enforcers, Magnaldi claimed that Mahoney was travelling at ‘high speed’ at the time of the crash.

He further claimed that it was Mahoney who crashed into his vessel, adding that his vessel took on water after the collision.

Meanwhile, the court heard that Magnaldi’s blood alcohol level on the day in question was tested and it indicated ‘certain things’. The prosecution did not specify. Senior Magistrate Tamia Richards eventually offered Magnaldi $50,000 bail.

Mahoney, in the meantime, was offered $30,000 bail.

Both men are scheduled to return to court on September 17 and 18 for trial.

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