Accidental death verdict in dinghy tragedy

  • Wed, 24 May 2006

A coroner has recorded accidental death on a boy and his grandfather who died when their dinghy capsized off North Wales

A verdict of accidental death has been recorded on an eight-year-old boy and his grandfather who died when their BEZ 2 dinghy capsized off the North Wales coast.

At the inquest in Caernarfon yesterday, the coroner heard how the vessel, Mollyanna, was incorrectly certified as RCD category C, and was unsuitable for the weather conditions on the day of the accident in July last year.

As reported in PBO 473, the vessel capsized and, once swamped, lost buoyancy preventing it from being righted. Young Ben Tinsley died of hypothermia and his grandfather Bill Tinsley, whose lifejacket was ill-fitting, drowned after falling unconscious from the cold. Ben's father and older brother were rescued by a fishing boat.

The coroner also concluded that the accident might have been prevented had Mr Tinsley, who owned the boat, or his son Jason, received better training.

The Polish-built BEZ 2 dinghy has now been removed from the market. However, 33 vessels have been sold in the UK and owners need to be aware of the dinghy's dangerous lack of stability and buoyancy. For the full report, see the MAIB website.

Picture: Following the accident, the RYA and MAIB did tests on another BEZ 2 dinghy, and found it difficult to right once capsized