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Men 'stole €1.5m yacht for jaunt'

Jobless duo had never driven boat before walking on to yacht at Antibes harbour and taking trip out to sea

TWO young men have appeared in court after stealing a €1.5 million motor cruiser from the marina at Antibes on the Riviera and taking it for a jaunt on the Mediterranean.

They had never driven a boat before and just followed instructions on a sticker on the bridge.

Appearing before the court in Grasse, they said "we just fancied a little ride".

One has been jailed for a year and the other given a six-month suspended jail sentence.

The two unemployed men from Douai, Nord, had been on holiday in Antibes last weekend when they walked on to the yacht Pharaon, moored in Gallice port, to find a place to sleep on the Friday. The slept on the bridge and people on neighbouring yachts thought they were friends of the owner.

Later, on the Saturday night around midnight, they decided to head out to sea. Once past Cap d'Antibes they headed for the Baie des Anges off Nice and spent the night afloat.

They then returned to Antibes on the Sunday morning to be met by the harbour authorities who called police. The boat had some scratches and damaged propellers.

Asked in court if they had not thought about the potential damage they could cause - and the danger to other boats - Nice-Matin reported that one replied: "We're not pirates. We weren't going to board another boat."

Read the story (in French) at Nice-Matin

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