Expert Says "Better Regulation Is Urgently Required"
Solicitors from Irwin Mitchell’s travel law team have backed calls from a coroner for a government review of safety standards used by companies that organise overseas adventure trips.
The team represents a client who was injured while on a trip organised by Coral Cay Conservation – the same company recently criticised by Stockport Coroner John Pollard.
The coroner returned a verdict of unlawful killing in the case of 17-year-old Luke Molnar, who was electrocuted in Fiji.
Mr Pollard said that Coral Cay Conservation had inadequate safety arrangements in place and that they also failed to provide adequate levels of medical support. He also wrote to the government to call on ministers to strengthen regulations around firms offering overseas adventure travel.
The team at Irwin Mitchell has also acted in claims for a number of people injured and families of those killed on adventure holidays in various countries, including Trinidad and Tobago, Ecuador, France and the USA.
Clive Garner, head of Irwin Mitchell’s travel law team, said: “The lack of regulation in this area is a major cause for concern. Sadly, every year we are asked to act for further victims injured on overseas adventures.
“Many of our clients go onto win claims against the organisers of their adventure holidays, but much more importantly they should not have been put in the position where they suffered injury in the first place.
"Better regulation is urgently required to protect those who go on adventure breaks and holidays and we welcome the Coroner's recommendation that new legislation is introduced as soon as possible.
“This is not about requiring impossible safeguards or changing things to take away the important adventure aspects of these holidays. It is about organisations being required to take basic, common sense safety precautions to ensure that the children and adults who go on adventure trips do not suffer needless and serious injury.
“Like other cases we have been involved in, Luke's death should have been avoided and it is high time that lessons are learnt to prevent future tragedies and improved regulations introduced.”