Teemu Selänne to face charges over 2006 boat accident
Finnish NHL star Teemu Selänne is to face charges over an incident last July in which his 18-metre speedboat Ellinore got into difficulties off the coast of Helsinki, striking a submerged rock and eventually sinking in shallow water off the beach island of Pihlajasaari.
Selänne was not on board the vessel at the time of the accident, but could face sanctions over having given the keys to the 1,200-horsepower craft to a friend who did not have the necessary permit to skipper it. Twenty-three people were on board at the time of the accident. There were no injuries, save for a few bruises from the impact with the submerged rock.
The friend who was at the helm at the time of the incident will also face a court appearance for maritime safety offences and for neglecting good seamanship.
Both Selänne and the driver of the boat have denied the offences, and their solicitor has argued that a permit of this type would not be required for a vessel of this size. The law is to some extent ambiguous as it refers both to the length of the boat and the size of the engines. In this case the engine size (more than 500 hp) would be sufficient to require a permit to drive the vessel.
Teemu Selänne is unlikely to be making any appearances in a Finnish court in the immediate future, as the ice hockey star is playing for the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in the NHL Stanley Cup play-offs. It is thought likely than any case would be heard later in the summer.