herald

Saturday 24 August 2019

Dancer loses white knuckle ride claim

Siobhan Kellett fractured her elbow during a shore excursion on a Caribbean cruise in April 2016
Siobhan Kellett fractured her elbow during a shore excursion on a Caribbean cruise in April 2016

A dance teacher who injured herself on a white knuckle ride in a jet boat has lost her High Court action.

Siobhan Kellett fractured her elbow during a shore excursion on a Caribbean cruise in April 2016.

The White Knuckle Jet Boat Thrill Ride involved 360 degree turns in the middle of the sea, the court was told.

Mr Justice Anthony Barr dismissed Ms Kellett's case, saying she had not kept herself seated as instructed.

"It was simply an injury which occurred in the course of a vigorous activity," he said.

Ms Kellett (53), of Rockfield Green , Maynooth, Co Kildare, sued British company RCL Cruises, of Weybridge, Surrey, which operated the cruise ship Freedom Of The Seas.

She claimed RCL was responsible for the boat ride in St Maarten.

She also sued Panther Associates, trading as Tour America, of Middle Abbey Street, Dublin, where she booked the holiday.

Who will pay the costs of the High Court action will be decided at a later date.

Ms Kellett was on the seven- night €3,674 cruise with her husband to celebrate her 50th birthday and 25th wedding anniversary.

The holiday was to finish with five days in Las Vegas to dance with her husband at a jive festival.

Ms Kellett said she banged her elbow on the side of the metal boat when she was thrown out of her seat during two 360 deg-ree manoeuvres.

Failure

She claimed there was a failure to provide any adequate safety restraints, harnesses or belts on the boat.

All of the claims were denied.

Finding there was no negligence for failure to provide restraints, Mr Justice Barr said such restraints could lead to fatalities if the boat were to capsize.

He declined to find the boat owner was negligent for failing to put padding along the side of the boat.

He was satisfied the boat was in a good seaworthy condition and was safe for the excursion.

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