31st October 2019
Simon Browne QC and Ellen Robertson acted 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, a 19 year old student reading Business Management at Oxford Brookes University, 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 reserved her decision on whether to make a report for the Prevention of Future Deaths to the Peligoni Club.
Harry’s family have released a press statement expressing their hope that parents will become more aware of what it means for their children to work abroad during the summer.