Alison Whelan, a woman who yelled ‘I’m Jack Sparrow!’ at police as she stole a ferry and proceeded to sail down the River Dart in Devon, has been jailed for 112 days. Ms Whelan was found guilty by magistrates in Torquay of aggravated vehicle taking, following the incident which happened last September.
According to BBC News, the owners of the vessel ‘Dart Princess’ told the court how Ms Whelan was lucky not to injure herself and others during the nautical rampage. Paignton Pleasure Cruises said that had the vessel had managed to float out to sea, “it could have been serious.” The woman had been drinking for two days while eating poisonous hallucinogens before taking control of the ship – casting off from the pontoon in Kingswear at around 3.50am. While drifting away, she shouted “I’m Jack Sparrow’ – referring to Johnny Depp’s character from the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movie series. A pursuit and subsequent rescue of Ms Whelan took more than an hour and involved 30 people, including police, ambulance, lifeboat and coastguard crews.
After the sentencing on Wednesday (September 19, 2012), Paignton Pleasure Cruises manager Ashley Lane said the company was “satisfied with the outcome.” He added, “The fact is that, had circumstances been different tide-wise, it could have been serious…She could have seriously been injured had it gone out of the river”.