England

Rebecca Coles awarded £1.37m for inflatable ring crash

  • 16 May 2013
  • From the section England

A teenager who received serious injuries in an inflatable ring accident has been awarded £1.37m compensation.

Rebecca Coles was told she might never walk again after the inflatable she was riding on the River Orwell, in Suffolk, crashed in to another boat in May 2008.

The insurance company of the driver of the speedboat, which was pulling Ms Coles, has been ordered to pay the money by the Admiralty Court in London.

Ms Coles, 19, of Basildon in Essex, had to have part of her skull removed.

'Brought closure'

Her father, Steven Coles, said she received brain injuries and was also left with impaired vision and hearing, partial loss of use in her left arm and reduced mobility.

"It's been a very difficult five years and we are relieved that it's finally come to an end and brought closure for Rebecca," Mr Coles said.

"We are immensely proud of her achievements so far and we are optimistic she can move forward."

He also called on the government to introduce a driving test for anyone wishing to operate a speedboat.

According to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, there is currently no "obligatory or legal requirement within the leisure boating world" to have any training before operating a speedboat.

Lesley Batrick, who represented Ms Coles, said the compensation was a "great result for a really likeable young client".

"This isn't a lottery win because the money will be needed to meet Rebecca's needs for the rest of her life," she added.

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