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October 2021    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 36, No. 10   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Wearing Fins on Deck Proves Fatal

and the British boat captain is found liable

from the October, 2021 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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A surprise court ruling has shocked the British scuba diving industry. In a landmark decision, a Scottish judge at the Court of Session in Edinburgh has awarded 290,000 ($395,000) to the nine-year-old son of a 50-year-old diver who lost his life while diving from MV Jean Elaine. The vessel was owned by Orkney charter diving businessman Andy Cuthbertson and Scapa Flow Charters. The boy was a baby when his father died. The case will have far-reaching consequences for the British diving industry.

In 2012, Lex Warner, an experienced technical diver and businessman from near Birmingham, U.K., was diving from the vessel off Cape Wrath in Scotland, an area known for its turbulent seas. The weather was pretty good that day, with winds perhaps 4-8 knots. It was the third day of the trip.

While loaded down with a rebreather and multiple bail-out tanks and wearing his fins, he tripped and fell on the deck before a dive, moving from his seat to the nearby diving exit. He did not use the handrails beside him and chose a different route without the handrails to walk directly toward the diving exit....

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