In May 2008, a British couple was left to float helplessly in shark-infested waters off Whitsunday Islands, Australia, for 19 hours after being abandoned by their diving tour in Cairns.
The couple, who were part of a 20-strong party of passengers participating in a diving trip from Airlie Beach to Bait Reef, were dragged away by strong currents. When they surfaced after completing their dive, they discovered that the boat had left without them. They were eventually rescued after spending the night floating in a part of the open ocean that is known to be home of several potentially dangerous species of shark. The expensive large-scale rescue operation, which led to their discovery approximately 14 km (nine miles) from the original dive site, involved six boats, seven helicopters and three planes.
The charter company
The company owning the dive boat was eventually found guilty of neglecting to make sure that all passengers had safely returned to the vessel before leaving and charged with a breach of the Workplace Health & Safety Act.
Lucky to be alive, the young couple involved in this tragic and certainly avoidable incident may have survived their ordeal without major personal injuries, but the trauma of being abandoned and drifting all night in waters known to be infested by sharks is likely to remain with them for a long time. This could ultimately lead to anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. While it is unknown whether the couple actually made a claim for personal injury compensation they would certainly have been entitled to do so.
You and your rights
In a similar fashion, if you should sustain an injury by slips, trips and falls or any other kind of accident on holiday, you, too, could be entitled to claim for travel accident compensation if:
- Your slip, trip or fall, or indeed any other accident while on vacation, is the result of neglect, mistakes or a misdemeanour by another person or company
- You sustained your diving, slip, trip or fall injury within the last three years
What to do next
If you sustained an injury on holiday, regardless of whether it was caused by slipping, tripping or falling, a diving accident or any other kind of accident in Australia, or anywhere else in the world, you should enlist the help of Accident Advice Helpline to conduct your claim as effectively and efficiently as possible.
Call us today on 0800 689 0500 to speak with an advisor and find out more about the claims process.
Date Published: July 22, 2015
Author: Accident Advice