Officer of the watch to appear in court after woman died when dredger collided with yacht off Felixstowe coast

Bernie Ingram after being reunited with her missing cat

Bernie Ingram after being reunited with her missing cat

A man is due to appear in court next week after being charged following the death of a Suffolk woman after a collision between a yacht and a dredger.

Bernadine Ingram, from Butley, near Woodbridge was on board the yacht with her husband Peter at the time of the accident off the Felixstowe coast.

The collision occurred at around 1.30pm on June 8.

Mr Ingram and his 57-year-old wife ended up in the sea as a result of the accident.

Mr Ingram was pulled to safety. However Mrs Ingram, who was known as Bernie, could not be found.


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Her body was eventually located the following day.

Two dogs were also reported to have gone in the water, but only one was recovered alive.

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The tragedy sparked an inquiry by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. As a result of the investigation, it has now said a man will appear before South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court in Ipswich on Tuesday to be charged under Section 58 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995.

This encompasses conduct endangering ships, structures or individuals.

A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: “Gerardus Johannes Chapel, from Papendrecht, The Netherlands, was the Officer of the Watch on the dredger.

“He’s been charged with failing to discharge his duties properly, as such the manner of his acts and/or omissions caused or were likely to cause loss, destruction, death or injury, contrary to section 58(4) of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995, as amended.”

An inquest has been opened in relation to Mrs Ingram’s death.

However, coroner Dr Peter Dean said he would be looking for a “clear picture” of what happened before he would be in a position to give his finding.

Mrs Ingram had been a doctors’ receptionist at The Peninsula Practice’s Health Centre in Alderton and at Chapman House, in Orford.

She was responsible for establishing and running a support group for patients who had been diagnosed with cancer at the practice with which she worked for 14 years.

Following Mrs Ingram’s death The Peninsula Practice paid tribute to her in a statement.

Part of it read: “Bernie was an invaluable part of the fabric of our small surgery. With her calm and dignified manner, she always worked from her heart and went the extra mile for every single patient.

“Many of you know that she initiated and single-handedly ran a support group for our patients who have been diagnosed with cancer. The love, kindness and care that Bernie gave not only to patients but at different times to every member of staff in times of need was immeasurable.

“Bernie had a deep understanding and love for all animals especially her horses, dogs, cats and chickens. She would always help any animal in need. With this in mind, there will also be a donation box for contributions towards one of Bernie’s favourite animal charities.”

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