"How many courts in Greece have got to find you guilty before you put up, shut up and say we made a mistake?”
Lynn Morgan, British mother of an 11 yr old sailing victim in Paleros
The story is this: In July 2003, Laura Morgan, 11 from Woodborough, Notts was on a Sunsail holiday in the coastal resort of Paleros, Mainland Greece, 340 kms northwest of Athens when she became trapped beneath a capsized catamaran and drowned. An inquest and court case have followed with the latest decision provoking the above irate comment from Laura’s mother, Lynn Morgan.
From the inquest:
"Expert witness David Ritchie, a member of the Royal Yachting Association’s training committee, said such deaths were not widely understood because they were so rare and he believed Sunsail was a "responsibly and thoroughly organised company".
Describing the fatal incident as "every sailing instructor’s nightmare", Mr Ritchie said: "I honestly don’t think that the staff could have done anything else other than what they did."
Sunsail would have been castigated if she did not have a safety harness and when she did wear one it trapped her under the boat. This was a tragic accident, nothing more, nothing less. Similar to those killed when they are trapped in the car by their seat belts.
Thinking further about this, she was also probably wearing a life jacket which was not helpful as it would try to take her directly to the surface and pinned her to the underside of the upturned hull and prevented her from swimming out.
If anyone is to be blamed it must be the Health & Safety regulations which, in this case, sadly, resulted in her death.
I don’t know why people are so ready to take sides on something they know so little about.
As Latsida says, any company will appeal these decisions, especially so if they think they are in the right. Why should they allow their reputation to be blackened by a wrong court decision, if that is what it is?
Two other points. Anyone remember what an accident is, before we arrived in a world of blame and litigation? Sometimes accidents happen and no-one is to blame.
And do we think the court would have arrived at the same decision if the company involved had been Greek? Maybe they were just looking to demonstrate how efficiently Greek justice protects tourists, (when no Greek company is involved).
You’d expect the poor girl’s mother to be upset and combative. Doesn’t mean she is right.