unreported, 14th June 2011
The case turned on the definition of a ‘ship’ within the meaning of the Athens Convention. The Claimant had been injured in the course of an excursion around the Menai Straits in a rigid inflatable boat. He submitted that the boat was not a ship because it was a relatively small vessel licensed to travel 20 miles and only in favourable weather. The Defendant submitted that it was a ship because it was capable of travelling over 100 miles and was seaworthy. Master Kay found that a ship must be capable of being used in navigation and designed to do so. Regard should be had to what the vessel can and does do – if it goes to sea it is a ship.
Sarah Prager was Counsel for the Claimant.