Bahrain boat accident latest
A widow whose husband died when the boat he was sailing on capsized off the coast of Bahrain has said she is pleased by the news that the owner of the boat, Abdulla Al Kobaisi, has been convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Stephanie Grady (31) whose husband Stephen died aboard the vessel the Al Dana when it sank in March 2006 killing 58 people, said:
"Having heard the verdict I am pleased that the court reacted to the seriousness of this case and has handed down to Mr Al Kobaisi the maximum sentence that they could under the current law. I remain disappointed that the maximum sentence is only 10 years and would call on the Bahrain government to consider whether this is really long enough for such a tragic loss of life.
Mrs Grady continued: "I thank both the Judge and the prosecutor for the way in which this case has been handled. I believe that the Judge has set a precedent which has sent a strong message to all businesses in Bahrain that if you do not take the right safety precautions to ensure the safety of your employees and customers, and as a result people die, the law in Bahrain will ensure that you are punished.
"I am disappointed that Mr Al Kobaisi is currently out on bail and is appealing his sentence. Nothing will bring my husband back and all I can hope for is that the Court of Appeal will make sure justice is done and uphold what I consider to be the right decision."
The Al Dana was hired by local company Island Tours who in turn chartered the boat to construction firms Nass and Murray & Roberts, for a party to celebrate the completion of part of the Bahrain World Trade Centre.
Murray & Roberts, a South African company, with offices in the UK, lost ten employees. In addition, employees of Surrey construction firm W.S. Atkins plc, who were involved in the construction project, were invited to the event. Five members of W.S Atkins' UK staff were amongst those who died on board.
An inquest which took place in London in December 2006 heard damning evidence from a marine expert, Barry Deakin who identified three principal causes of the accident:
- The vessel had inadequate stability.
- The inspection and certification process in Bahrain was inadequate and;
- The crews qualification and training were inadequate.
Boat accident solicitor comments
Clive Garner from Irwin Mitchell solicitors who is representing the families of the deceased and victims of the tragedy said: "The Bahraini criminal courts have sentenced Mr Al Kobaisi to 10 years in prison for his part in the events leading to the capsizing of the Al Dana. Meanwhile civil claims for compensation are being pursued. While nothing truly compensates for the appalling loss of life which has been suffered, compensation is being sought to assist the many widows, orphans and other victims of this tragedy to help give them back some of the financial security that they have lost and to give them the resources they need to start re-building their lives."
Boat accident compensation claims
Irwin Mitchell has represented a number of people involved in boat accidents. If you, or someone you know has been involved in a similar incident, our solicitors can help claim compensation. Fill in our online personal injury claims form for free legal advice.