Inquest held into Bahrain boat tragedy

Bahrain boat tragedy inquest


A coroner will today hold an inquest into the deaths of nine Britons and one German who were killed in the Bahrain boat tragedy.

Relatives of those who died are expected to attend the hearing at West London Coroner's Court.

A total of 58 people, including 15 Britons, were killed when a dhow capsized in calm waters off Bahrain earlier this year.

Most were employees of firms helping to construct the nation's World Trade Centre towers.

Coroner Alison Thompson is expected to hear evidence from a marine expert as well as a number of British police officers who have been looking into the circumstances of the tragedy.

Around 130 people were on board the converted pleasure boat, al Dana, when it toppled over in calm waters on March 30.

Abdullah al-Kobaisi, the owner of the boat, and Rajendrakumar Ramjibhai, the captain, are facing criminal charges in Bahrain over the disaster.

But a British survivor, Simon Hill, 44, from Southampton, is facing civil proceedings brought by Mr al-Kobaisi, who has accused him of ordering the captain to set sail against his wishes.

Clive Garner, a partner at UK solicitors Irwin Mitchell, is representing the families of a number of the dead as well as many survivors.

Bahrain boat inquest expected to support compensation claims

He said: "We expect there will be evidence in the inquest which will be relevant to our clients' civil claims for compensation, and which will help our clients understand how this terrible tragedy occurred.

"Hopefully it will provide information which will allow lessons to be learnt to avoid a repeat of something like this in the future."

Those whose inquests are being held today are the 10 victims whose bodies were repatriated to the UK via Heathrow. They are:

Patricia Doyle, 64, of Hagley, West Midlands, and her English language teacher daughter Roslyn, 35, whom she was visiting on the Persian Gulf island;

Scott Belch, 33, from Redhill, Surrey and his German wife Sandra. They had only recently married and Mrs Belch was three months pregnant;

Jason Brett, 32 and wife Lucinda, 30, who moved to Bahrain from Surbiton, Surrey, and left behind two young children;

William Nolan, 50, from Ipswich;

Stephen Grady, 42, from Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire;

Carl Ottewell, 40, from Bolton upon Dearne, South Yorkshire;

Phillip Moody, 48, a father-of-two said to have saved his wife Alison and another woman before he died;

The six other British victims were:

Christopher Langan, 53, whose family was thought to be from the Newcastle area and lived in Bahrain;

David Evans, 56, from Glasgow;

Chris Braysher, 47, Jimmy Allen, 59, and Lawrence Sulman, 39, all based in South Africa

If you or someone you know has been effected by this, or a similar incident, our solicitors can help. Visit our accidents and illness abroad section