Out of court settlement prompts warning for narrow boat owners

A man who worked for ten years at an East London Marina repairing narrow boats has settled out of court for an undisclosed sum, claiming exposure to asbestos at work gave him terminal lung cancer.

The settlement has highlighted the hidden danger of asbestos for the thousands of people who live in boats across the UK.

According to a press release by the man’s solicitors, many boats built prior to 1985 used asbestos products as insulation in the heating systems, engine parts, pipe work and exhausts.

“If the asbestos is in poor condition or is disturbed so that the fibres are inhaled the consequences can be fatal with conditions like mesothelioma developing decades later,” said a spokesman for the firm.

The 72-year-old Grandfather of five, who was diagnosed in March 2008, recalls asbestos was present in around 70% of the boats he repaired during his time at the yard from 1979-1989.

Despite not wanting to be named, he released the following statement through his lawyers, the Personal Injury firm, Thompsons solicitors:

“I knew asbestos was in the boats I was working on but I had no idea that it was dangerous. Decades later I am now facing a death sentence. I want to help prevent other people from coming into contact with asbestos so they don’t suffer the same fate as me. I now know from painful experience that asbestos can kill. If someone had warned me about the dangers then perhaps this would not have happened to me.”