Inquest into the death of Harry Byatt

29.10.2019 and 30.10.2019

Practice Areas


Ellen was led by Simon Browne QC on behalf of the family of Harry Byatt at the inquest into his death, which occurred at the Peligoni Club sailing resort in Zakynthos, Greece in August 2017.

Harry, 19, was working as a water sports instructor at the Peligoni Club during the summer season.

The Senior Coroner for Westminster, Dr Fiona Wilcox, found that Harry had drowned in seawater around thirty metres off the coast at the Peligoni Club, and recorded the cause of death as an accident.

Dr Wilcox found that nobody had been in the watch tower overlooking the water at the time of Harry’s death, and that the system used to allocate watch tower duties was “not robust enough”. The Senior Coroner also stated she doubted that rescue boats were out on the water at the time. She considered the distinction drawn by the Peligoni Club between risks to those swimming and those on craft in the water “incredible” and found that all users of the water should be watched over in case they got into difficulties.

The Senior Coroner made a report for the Prevention of Future Deaths to the Peligoni Club regarding the watch-tower system, the safety of swimmers and the lack of on site deep-water rescue equipment.

Related Barristers

Ellen Robertson

Ellen Robertson
Year of Call: 2013