Mar 4, 2013 / 12:34 pm
The former lover of a crew member charged in a fatal ferry sinking off BC's coast says fourth officer Karl Lilgert gave her an order to switch the ship off autopilot just before it hit an island, but she didn't know how to do that.
Quartermaster Karen Briker also told Lilgert's BC Supreme Court trial that she heard Lilgert tell another crew member minutes later that he was attempting to avoid a boat and that poor weather had made it impossible to read the radar.
Briker was alone on the bridge with Lilgert, who is charged with criminal negligence causing deaths of two passengers who disappeared when the Queen of the North hit an island and sank in March 2006.
Briker says she saw trees through the bridge's window prompting Lilgert to shout and then order her to switch to manual steering, but she says she didn't know how.
She says she later heard Lilgert tell another crew member that he was attempting to steer around a fishing boat and that a squall had caused the radar to white out.
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