Corporate manslaughter charge for watersports club over banana-boat fatality

A Middlesex watersports club has been charged with corporate manslaughter in relation an incident in which a young girl was hit and killed by a speedboat in 2010.

Prince’s Sporting Club Ltd appeared before Westminster magistrates yesterday, where it was also charged with a breach of section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974. One of its directors, Glen Walker, was charged with a breach of section 37 of the same Act.

The charges relate to the death of 11-year-old Mari-Simon Cronje during a birthday celebration at the Bedfont, Middlesex club on 11 September 2010. She died after falling from a banana boat ride and being hit by the boat that had been towing it. The driver of the boat was not aware that Mari-Simon had fallen into the water and did not see her as he continued on a tight circular route.

An investigation by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch concluded that the incident was partly a direct result of Prince’s Sporting Club’s flawed process for completing risk assessments The case was referred to Southwark Crown Court for a plea and case-management hearing on 26 April.