Middle East

British tourist wins compensation after watersport accident

Tube boat operator fined Dh20,000, to compensate woman, who sustained serious eye and ear injuries

Dubai: A boat operator will pay Dh21,000 in compensation to a British tourist for injuring her ear and eye in a tube boat ride accident.

The British woman, who suffered 30 per cent permanent disability in her head and face following the accident in June 2017 off the Jumeirah beachfront, sued the 31-year-old Sri Lankan boat operator, who works for a hotel at Dubais Palm Jumeirah.

The British claimant lodged a civil lawsuit for Dh21,000 in temporary compensation against the physical and emotional damages that she suffered following the accident.

Medical reports said the Briton sustained comminuted depressed fractures of her left temporal bones with inferior extension to the base of the skull at left petrous bone and superiorly to the left parietal bone in addition to the small left posterior parietal subacute epidural hematoma.

On Thursday, the Dubai Misdemeanours Court fined the Sri Lankan defendant Dh20,000 for negligently and accidentally causing the victims injuries.

According to the primary judgement, the accused was also ordered to pay Dh21,000 in temporary compensation to the Briton.

The claimant is expected to transfer her civil lawsuit to the Dubai Civil Court where she will be seeking a higher and permanent compensation against her damages.

The Briton was also referred to an ENT team for left ear discharge. Hearing assessment showed moderate to severe left ear conductive deafness.

The tourist was staying at the luxury hotel from where she hired a tube ride along with her Qatari friend when the boat operator sailed towards the Mina Seyahi lagoon for the 20-muniute ride.

As required by safety measures, the Briton and her friend were provided with safety helmets and life jackets following a safety briefing as well.

Records said a private boat passed nearly 30-meters away and caused abnormal high waves beside the tube that was sailing at a 20-knot speed before it forced the defendant to turn left to avoid the waves.

Cruising in an un-flat water, once the accused swerved the boat to the left, a one-meter high wave hit the tube and caused the two friends to bump head-to-head.

The collision caused a bleeding in the womans left ear. The boat operator instantly called paramedics and the police as soon as he reached the shore.

The court convicted the accused of failing to adhere to safety standards and negligently causing the tube ride accident that resulted in injuring the Qatari man in his head and also being liable for causing a 30 per cent permanent disability to British woman.

The Sri Lankan pleaded not guilty.

In her civil lawsuit, the Britons lawyer said she suffered multiple fractures in the facial bones and particularly around her left eye in addition to fractures in the left ears bones, which led to partial deafness.

The ruling remains subject to appeal.

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