Thailand speedboat deaths ‘could have been prevented’

07-Dec-2017 Intellasia | BBC | 6:00 AM Print This Post

The deaths of two Britons in a Thai boat crash could “have been prevented”, the husband of one has said.

Monica O’Connor, 28, and Jason Parnell, 46, drowned after the speedboat capsized in monsoon conditions near the island of Koh Samui in May 2016.

Delivering a narrative conclusion, coroner Alison Mutch said the captain’s decision to ignore weather warnings contributed to their deaths.

After the hearing, Tim O’Connor said his wife’s death was “tragic”.

The couple, from Sale in Greater Manchester, had been on their honeymoon, while Parnell, from Sileby in Leicestershire, was celebrating his first wedding anniversary.

Thirty-two people were on board when the crashin which a German and a Chinese national also diedoccurred off the coast of Thailand.

‘Appropriate lessons’

The inquest heard small boats were warned not to sail by Thailand’s meteorological department.

The hearing was also told the boat’s passengers had been given no safety advice, there was no individual allocation of life jackets and a decision was made to sail the boat too close to the shore.

Boat captain Sanan Sridakeow was jailed for a year, and operator Limited Partnership Angthong Discovery Tour was fined 15,000 Thai baht (GBP 342) after admitting recklessness.

Recording a narrative conclusion, the senior coroner for South Manchester Alison Mutch said they “died as a result of drowning, contributed to by the decision to operate the tour when a known weather warning was in force”.

She added that she was “truly sorry that what should have been memorable holidays in the most positive and happy ways ended in the ways they did”.

Speaking after the hearing, O’Connor said he hoped that “appropriate lessons can be learned from today’s findings to ensure no one else has to suffer the heartache and pain of losing a loved one”.

He added that the inquest process had been “incredibly difficult, particularly with the findings outlining just how Monica’s death could and perhaps should have been prevented”.


Category: Thailand

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