The mother of a young girl who died in a boating accident while on holiday in Greece has won her 13-year legal battle for compensation from the British-based holiday company concerned.
Lynne Morgan was on a Sunsail holiday with her daughters at the Club Vounaki resort in Paleros Bay in Greece in 2003. Her younger daughter, Laura, aged 11, drowned when the catamaran she was on capsized after being caught by a sudden gust of wind when it was 300 yards from the shore. Laura was trapped underneath the boat when her trapeze harness became tangled in its rigging. At an inquest in the UK, the coroner found that Laura had received no training from a suitably qualified person on the use of the equipment.
Lengthy criminal proceedings in Greece eventually saw two of the holiday company's employees found guilty of 'homicide by misadventure'.
In 2008, Mrs Morgan launched civil proceedings for damages in Greece. In September 2011, the lower court ruled that the holiday company was liable for Laura's death and awarded the family a six-figure sum in compensation. However, Sunsail, currently part of TUI Marine, appealed the decision. After protracted wrangling, the appeal was finally dismissed by the Greek Supreme Court in March of this year. However, according to Mrs Morgan, it still took several months and further correspondence threatening yet more legal action before the claim was settled.
Sunsail made a statement expressing its sympathy for Laura's family and its regret at any distress caused to them as a result of the protracted legal process. The company's spokesperson said, "Sunsail has always maintained that it operated, and continues to operate, within the stringent safety guidelines set out by the Royal Yachting Association.
"The safety of our guests was, and is always, an absolute priority for us."
In May this year, the TUI Group announced plans to sell off its adventure holidays arm, which includes Sunsail.