Two sailing instructors whose boats crashed into each other in Cardiff Bay have been cleared of speeding and failing to keep a proper look-out
Two young sailors have
been cleared of speeding and failing to keep a proper look-out after their
boats crashed into each other.
The incident, which
occurred at night in Cardiff Bay, left a schoolgirl with brain damage and
another with long-term injuries to her rib.
Nia Jones and Eleni
Morus, both now 21, admit to driving the vessels on 27 October 2010 without
navigation lights but denied the other charges against them.
The two instructors
had been transporting a group of 24 schoolgirls, who were taking part in a week
long sailing course, back to accommodation after a night out ice skating when
their boats collided.
Several of the school
children onboard were thrown from the vessels as a result.
The judge’s verdict
comes a week after the jury heard how Miss Jones was encouraged to go faster
during their journey across the bay.
One of the young
passengers alleged via video link that Miss Jones began speeding and weaving
the boat after pleas from those onboard.
“We were urging Nia to
go faster and she said, ‘sod it’ and then did it,” claimed the schoolgirl.
“We were excited but
some people told Nia to slow down. She went over the wake of the other boat a
couple of times before we crashed.”
“Just before we
collided I think we all knew we were going to crash but we didn’t move or
scream, we didn’t have time to.”
Following the verdict
yesterday, the defendants’ solicitor Russell Kelly said the pair were
“relieved” that the court case was over.
sympathy for the girls who were injured in the incident and sincerely hope that
they make a full recovery.
“Both defendants now
just want to concentrate on their studies and put this ordeal behind them.”
Organisers of the
sailing course, Nicholas Sawyer and PMB & SC Ltd, have admitted offences
relating to the accident, as well as breaking health and safety regulations.