At Inverness Sheriff Court today, George Leven Deuchars McCallum, 52, pleaded guilty to a contravention of Section 7(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, in connection with the death of 14 year old Kaylee McIntosh at Loch Carnan, South Uist, on 3 August 2007.
The charge set out his failure to adequately plan and assess the risks involved in the safe transportation of cadets by waterborne craft, and his failure to safely carry out the transportation itself.
Kaylee had attended an Army Cadet camp and was one of a number of cadets being transported by boat between Loch Carnan and Loch Skipport. During that voyage, the boat she was in capsized and she entered the water and became trapped under the upturned hull. No head count had been taken or note of the names of all those on board each craft upon embarkation, nor was there a formal record on or offshore of who was on the water. No roll call was made at the point of capsize and none made immediately upon landing at the jetty at Loch Carnan after personnel were recovered from the water by any of the instructors at the pier. The fact that Kaylee was missing was therefore not noted for some time, resulting in the Coastguard being advised that all cadets had been rescued and delay in her being located. She was subsequently recovered from under the upturned hull over three hours after the initial Mayday call was made and taken by coastguard helicopter to Western Isles Hospital where she was pronounced dead.
The court heard that McCallum was in charge of the boating operation but that no specific documented risk assessment had been conducted for the boat transfer. In addition, the evidence subsequently gathered demonstrated that he had failed to adequately plan the activity and assess the risks involved.
Sentence was deferred until Monday 19 November.
Following the plea, Elaine Taylor, Head of the COPFS Health and Safety Division, said:
“George McCallum has today pled guilty to his individual failings in relation to ensuring the safety of Kaylee McIntosh on the day she died.
“The transportation of cadets by craft required adequate planning and assessment of the risks involved, and the accused failed in his duties to carry out both of these crucial elements to ensure that Kaylee and other cadets involved in the activity were safe.
“Those failings resulted in the entirely avoidable loss of the life of a young girl.
“Our thoughts today are with the family and friends of Kaylee McIntosh”
HSE Inspector Douglas Conner said:
“The investigation into the circumstances surrounding this tragic incident revealed a number of failings by Mr McCallum.
“Mr McCallum failed to sufficiently assess the risks involved or to take all reasonable steps when planning or carrying out the activity.
“The part played by his employers, the Ministry of Defence, in Kaylee’s death is being dealt with separately by HSE.”
via George McCallum pleads guilty to failing to ensure safety of Kaylee McIntosh | Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.
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