Inquest Reveals Basic Errors Caused Tragic Death

Tragic Death of 20 Year Old Man Should Never Have Happened 

Crosse + Crosse Solicitors acted for the family of Oliver Jones at the inquest into his tragic death which concluded at County Hall on Monday 5th October.

The family’s solicitor, Richard Stevinson, said:  “Oliver Jones, who was just 20,  drowned off the coast at Budleigh Salterton on 16th October 2013 in a kayaking accident. Oliver was a novice kayaker. He had been lent a kayak by a friend which was unseaworthy. The kayak was designed to be fitted with a bung or plug which enabled the kayak to be emptied of water after use. The expert, who examined the kayak, concluded that the kayak that Oliver had been lent was missing the bung. This would have led to water entering the kayak. Ultimately this affected the kayak’s stability so that it caused Oliver to capsize. Oliver and his friend had not been provided with a life jacket or any other buoyancy aid. Once his canoe had capsized, Oliver tried to swim to the shore which was 10-20 metres away but, despite being described by various witnesses as a strong swimmer, he failed to make it and drowned. There was then an unfortunate delay in the emergency services being called and matters were compounded because of communication issues between the Police and the Coastguard.

Mr Stevinson added: ”We all feel so sorry for Oliver’s family and friends, many of whom came to the Inquest on Monday. It so sad to see a young man lose his life but especially in such a needless way. This accident should never have happened.”

Crosse + Crosse are happy to provide support and advice in relation to any Inquest, Clinical Negligence or personal injury matters. Please feel free to contact a member of our Personal Injury Team on 01392 207603.