Melbourne man to face trial over Georgia Vizovitis’ death at sea

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31-year-old Alan Whittley is set to face trial over the death of Greek Australian teenager, Georgia Vizovitis, at sea.

Mr Whittley is part of an award-winning Melbourne boatbuilding family which has been in business for more than 50 years.

He was master of a vessel in March 2018 when Georgia, who was a passenger, died in an ­accident off the NSW south coast. The 6.3m boat overturned at Moruya Heads, trapping the 13-year-old from Canberra underneath.

Her body was later recovered by rescuers who converged on the area.

Alan Whittley leaves court in 2019 after he was charged over the death of a 13-year-old girl in a boating accident. Photo: ABC News / Tom Lowrey.

Authorities later said none of the six people on board was wearing a life jacket despite what were described as challenging conditions in an area where the Moruya River meets the ocean.

Coroner Doug Dick last year suspended an inquest into the matter after some witnesses decided not to give evidence, and those who did could not be questioned by lawyers.

He referred the case to the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions, and charges were laid.

The Whittley company has a large-scale factory at Somerton in the northern suburbs. Mr Whittley, of Pattersons Lakes, is its business development manager.

At a brief hearing in Batemans Bay last year, Mr Whittley offered no plea on charges of negligent operation of a recreational boat causing death and navigating in a dangerous manner causing death.

A “readiness hearing” on the matter will be held next March in a Sydney court, with a later trial to be held at Bega in southern NSW.

Mr Whittley, two other men and two other 13-year-olds were rescued after the mishap.

Police later said the boat had been hit by three waves, the last of which capsized it.

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