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The Abernethy Trust have been criticised by a Sheriff at a Fatal Accident Inquiry for failing to prevent the death of a teenager attending one of their activity centres.

Laura McDairmant died from severe head and neck injuries in July 2006 after jumping into a rock pool and missing the water, hitting rocks instead. She was 15 years old. The accident happened at the Trust's Barcaple Outdoor Centre in Dumfries and Galloway.

At the Fatal Accident Inquiry, Sheriff Johanna Johnston QC, hearing the case, called for a review into legislation governing activity centres.  She also said that it "would be in the public interest for the Health and Safety Executive to consider in the review, the training and qualifications of all those who are engaged in the provision of adventure activities."

Current rules governing centres such as Barcaple are set out in the Activity Centres (Young Persons’ Safety) Act 1995. The Adventure Activities Licensing Authority arose from the act, but the Authority does not cover the activity of gorge jumping.

Sheriff Johnston found that the pool used was not suitable for the activity of gorge jumping and that the staff managing the centre had not carried out a proper risk assessment. The Trust was fined £16,000 in October 2008 for failing to prevent the accident.

The Abernethy Trust is reported to have accepted the findings in the Fatal Accident Inquiry.

Thompsons Solicitors have years of experience in assisting the families’ of fatal accident victims.  We understand the first and most important thing that a family need and demand is answers!  Without answers as to what happened and why it happened they cannot move on with their lives, they need to know that no other family will be affected as they have been by the loss of a loved one.Contact our specialist lawyers today on 0800 0891331 and we will help you obtain the answers to your questions.  Our No Win No Fee policy means that we take care of the financial burden of legal action at an already stressful time for clients

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