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Capsize survivor sued by Bahrain boat's owners

Survivor of Bahrain boat capsize disaster sued


Simon Hill was one of the survivors of the Bahrain boat disaster in March 2006, when a dhow capsized killing 58 people. But the boat's owner, Abdullah al-Kobaisi, is now accusing Mr Hill, 44, from Southampton, of forcing the reluctant dhow captain to set sail on the pleasure trip.

Mr Hill has now been barred from leaving Bahrain pending the civil proceedings brought against him. The owners and captain are themselves facing criminal charges of "fatal neglect" and "sea transportation deficiency".

Fifteen Britons were among those who died when the 80ft sailing vessel, carrying around 130 party-goers, capsized in calm waters on 30 March 2006.
But Mr Hill's company, Nass-Murray & Roberts, are supporting his civil defence case, expected to start in mid-September before the criminal proceedings recommence.

Company spokesman Millard Arnold said: "I just think that there is no proof at all that Mr Hill was engaged or involved with ordering the ship to sail."

"Even if it was the case that he had told him to sail, the captain is the one responsible for making that decision".
Mr Arnold said he did not think that the dhow's captain would have been able to identify Mr Hill from more than 100 passengers on board, after meeting him once.


Bahrain boat accident lawyer comments

Clive Garner, a partner at Irwin Mitchell, is representing the families of 15 of the deceased and a number of survivors and claims the report accused a number of individuals and organisations of negligence.

They include the Commercial Registration Directorate, the Passenger Safety Inspector, the Ministry of Information, the company Island Tours who chartered the boat from Mr al-Kobaisi and Nass-Murray & Roberts who hired the boat from Island Tours.


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