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Ferry worker arrested over sailors' deaths

VICTIM: Jason Downer from Broadstairs
VICTIM: Jason Downer from Broadstairs

A 61-year-old Kent man has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter through gross negligence in connection with the deaths of three sailors in the English Channel.

The man, from Dover, was arrested by Hampshire Police on Wednesday and later released on bail.

The body of 35-year-old Jason Downer, from Broadstairs, was found along with two other men when their yacht, Ouzo, went missing last month. It is thought they may have collided with a larger ship.

The two other men who died were 36-year-old Rupert Saunders, and James Meaby, also 36, both from London.

The parents of Mr Saunders, Albert and Marilyn Saunders, live in Swanley Village Road, Swanley Village, near Dartford.

Police have confirmed that the man arrested is a P&O employee who worked on the ferry the Pride of Bilbao but was not the captain.

Det Insp Nigel Niven said: "While we continue to maintain an open mind as to the cause of this incident, the inquiry is currently focussed on the potential involvement of the Pride of Bilbao."

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