Psychiatric patient steals pilot boat and takes a trip to Livorno

Pilot boat Livorno, 2013 (archive image courtesy of Piergiuliano Chesi / CC BY 3.0)

Posted on October 22, 2021 at 6:19 PM by

The maritime executive

A Dutch national with apparent psychiatric problems taught the Port of Livorno police for his money.

Herman Joseph Maria De Charro, 54, allegedly stole a pilot boat on the seafront in the port of Livorno on Wednesday evening. He headed out to sea, pursued by the Guardia Costiera and another pilot boat, and headed for the island of Gorgona. A coast guard patroller caught up with him about five miles off the coast, but he performed evasive maneuvers and prevented officers from boarding.

After about 40 minutes of maneuvering, it struck the stern of the ro-ro ferry Maria Grazia Onorato, resulting in damage to the bow of the pilot boat, according to the Medi Telegraph. The ferry is unharmed and continues on its way.

The suspected thief also continued, heading another six miles offshore. As the vessel took on water from impact damage, he allegedly attempted to set the wheelhouse on fire. Responders eventually managed to board the boat and wrest control from the suspect. He was brought to port and briefly detained.

At around 1:00 p.m. the next day, residents of a suburban neighborhood north of Livorno reported that a man had undressed in public next to a condominium. Police retaliated, arrested De Charro a second time and cited him for obscene acts in a public space. He was then released again.

De Charro went to a nearby church, where he forced the door, ransacked the premises and then “fell asleep in peace”, according to Corriere Fiorentino. After this third offense, he was finally taken to a psychiatric ward and hospitalized.

However, the room did not hold him for long. He appears to have escaped and at noon on Friday passers-by saw him on the roof of a wicket next to the port customs office building, miles from the hospital. Firefighters intervened on the scene and managed to capture him, with the help of the maritime border police. He was successfully detained, sedated and returned to the psychiatric ward.

Top image: Pilot boat from Livorno, 2013 (archive image courtesy of Piergiuliano Chesi / CC BY 3.0)

Previous Shortlist for the 2022 Boat Builder Awards >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News
Next Chronicle: Night rescue of a small vessel by a sport fishing boat from San Diego deemed "miracle"