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Personal Injury Solicitor discusses fatal accident in Thailand

By Principal Lawyer, Occupiers and Public Liability

It is always a shock to read of yet another incident involving a tourist ferry or cruise liner, pleasure boat or similar having capsized and where lives are lost says Personal Injury Solicitor Tristan Hallam.....................

An incident happened in Thailand recently where a tourist ferry sank I understand on leaving an island on the way to the tourist resort of Pattaya.

It would appear that engine problems caused passengers to move on to one of the upper decks which in turn caused the ferry to list and eventually sink.

Although it is always difficult to speculate in such circumstances, this must have been a rush of passengers and indeed probably an excessive number of passengers causing in turn the ferry to list heavily.

Ships are generally built to specific safety standards. They are designed to withstand a great deal of harsh treatment and unless this was a vessel which was not designed to carry certain weights (which I anticipate is not the case, as I would have thought that the ferry used will have been in service for some considerable time), it does not reflect well on the ferry operators allowing first, too many people to board the vessel and secondly to fail to provide basic safety instructions to ensure that the passengers have some understanding as to what to do in an emergency.

In the UK we have a specific investigation branch (The Marine Accident Investigation Branch) which will examine marine accidents involving UK registered vessels. Thailand has its own Marine Department which I anticipate is already in the course of investigating the incident and I note from the news coverage, the licence of the vessels Skipper has been revoked and essentially he has been suspended or stopped from acting as a Captain or Skipper.

I anticipate that the investigation will establish that this was yet a further marine accident which with a degree of very basic and careful planning, could have been avoided.