View Full Version : Date-rape drug probe after pilot grounded

I. M. Esperto
14th Aug 2002, 18:34

Date-rape drug probe after pilot grounded

August 13 2002 at 10:52AM

A former Virgin Atlantic pilot has appealed to a British employment tribunal after being fired following a night out in Cape Town in which he claimed he was drugged, robbed and left unfit for flying duty the next morning.

His dismissal meant he was no longer eligible for a severance package he had been due to claim three weeks later.

Now his lawyers want to speak to anyone in Cape Town who might have had a similar experience to that reported by Martin Baker, 42, of Kent.

Baker claims on March 24 he was drugged by two Russian-speaking men who were staying at his hotel, and whom he met in a Waterfront bar.

'My captain didn't believe me'
The next morning colleagues struggled to wake Baker. When he did wake up, he said, valuables had been stolen, including his cellphone and cash.

Baker claimed he was drugged either at the bar where he met the two men or in his room at the Cullinan Hotel after he invited them in for a nightcap. "I told my colleagues what had happened to me, but my captain didn't believe me," said Baker.

His lawyers suspect he was a victim of Rohypnol, the "date rape" drug. But tests in Britain could not confirm whether he was drugged. Rohypnol stays in the body for less than 12 hours.

"What I can remember from the evening is a total blur. All I've got are snippets of memory," Baker said.

He said he reported the incident to hotel security staff, who said they would contact the police. Cape Town police could not confirm on Monday whether a case had been reported.

'All I've got are snippets of memory'
After his return to London, Baker was fired for being "drunk on duty". This meant he was no longer eligible for a R300 000 severance package.

Virgin Atlantic spokesperson Polly Hardiman said: "It would be inappropriate for us to comment as this matter is currently the subject of proceedings before the employment tribunal."

The Cullinan Hotel also declined to comment.

14th Aug 2002, 18:50
Hope he had his kidneys when he woke up in the tub of ice!




14th Aug 2002, 20:51
For get the kidneys what about his kidney wiper :D :D :D

Bally Heck
14th Aug 2002, 21:58
Hardly a joking matter folks. And he may be telling the truth. :rolleyes:

14th Aug 2002, 22:37
Nice to see that his employer appears to have investigated the matter fully - not.

Of course, with this thread being in its infancy none of us know the facts. However, knee-jerk reaction seems to be the flavour of the month within the aviation industry.

15th Aug 2002, 06:07
Hardly a joking matter folks. And he may be telling the truth. or may be he is not. However that will be determined by the correct authority.

15th Aug 2002, 07:35
Our company have posters around our check in area warning of the dangers of this sort of thing. Some of the posters have the header 'I didn't think it would happen to me because I am a man'. As I understand it there have been several incidents involving cabin crew who have been drugged and robbed, I believe in NRT. It is a serious issue.

15th Aug 2002, 15:30
Serious issue indeed!

Buddy of mine working for a large carrier had a similar experience, where he had to call in sick the day after on a night stop after having woken up with no memory of the previous night after having had a soft drink in the bar.....

15th Aug 2002, 15:44
I seem to remember reading that someone had invented a device for detecting drugs like Rohypnol in your drink. It was in the form of a "litmus" strip which you dipped in your drink. Projected cost was about a fiver.

Still looking for article.

This device is similar:


16th Aug 2002, 02:46
Got to say, after being a victim of this drug...........it is appalling!

I personally know of 4 cabin crew over the last 4 years who have had experience of this drug, one of which was suspended after she failed to show up for work on the inbound sector from USA.

The makers of Rohypnol admitted it was a major problem and agreed to make it "smell & taste" sensitive, but it doesn't seem to work.

I lost almost 2 days and experienced some horrific things.

Nowadays, downroute, no-one buys me a drink, I dont leave my drink unattended EVER, bottled beer is usually held with my thumb over the top of the opening and I am aware, even when inebriated!!

This is a very real threat to everyone....it happens to individual holiday makers once a year maybe, but it really does happen to cabin/flight crew on a regular basis.

It doesn't matter if you are male or female, gay or straight. There is evidence to suggest that it happens to straight males/females more, but it is not reported due to the stigma attatched. Rohypnol is a drug that takes away your will, whilst leaving you fully concious of the events around you, but having no way to stop or the change the course of events.

Be very careful when you are downroute and when you are at home in your favourite clubs and pubs, it hapens here too.
:( :(