Mother of teenage boy who died in sailing accident takes case to B.C. Supreme Court

Mother of teenage boy who died in sailing accident takes case to B.C. Supreme Court

Gabriel Pollard died in a sailing accident in June 2018. (File).

Gabriel Pollard died in a sailing accident in June 2018. (File).

The mother of the 16-year-old teenage boy who died when a hoist lifting him out of a sailboat failed and dropped him is taking her case to the B.C. Supreme Court.

Gabriel Pollard, who had a severe form of muscular dystrophy and used a wheelchair, died on June 21.  Pollard was in Esquimalt and was being lifted out of a small sailboat with a hand-winch sling when the hoist broke loose.

He dropped onto the sailboat and into the water. According to the civil claim court documents, Gabriel succumbed to his injuries “from being dropped from the Lift and/or Sling and from being in the water for some time.”

The incident happened at Munroe Head, off Maplebank Road, on a dock shared by the Canadian Forces Sailing Association and the Disabled Sailing Association. According to the civil claim, Gabriel’s mother, Carrie Pollard, saw the entire incident, accompanied her son in the ambulance to the hospital and was there when he succumbed to his injuries.

“At all material times to this action, the Plaintiff was present and observed the Lift and/or Sling fail, her son fall and strike the sailboat and then, fall into the water, and struggle in the water awaiting rescue,” the court documents state.

The claim said Carrie has suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, shock, nightmares, depression, distractedness and sleeplessness among others.

She is seeking damages for loss of income, loss of savings and interest from savings, pain and suffering, loss of earning capacity, past and future health-care costs and special damages.

The Disabled Sailing Association of B.C. Victoria branch, the Canadian Forces Sailing Association, Victoria Integration Society, Recreation Integration Victoria, the Attorney General of Canada, the Department of National Defence and employees John Doe 1 and John Doe 2 are all listed as defendants.

There are 33 alleged negligence particulars listed, including failing to provide a proper and safe lift in good mechanical order for the use of disabled soldiers; failing to properly inspect the lift and/or sling; modifying the lift and/or sling in a manner that did not comply with the manufacturer’s standards; faily to have sufficient and properly trained staff for the sailing activities to respond promptly and appropriately in the event of an emergency; failing to provide appropriate safety equipment for the use of sailors, especially disabled sailors and failing to provide appropriate personal flotation devices (PFDs) for the use of sailors, especially disabled sailors, and in particular, PFDS that would keep a disabled sailor’s head above water in the event of falling into water.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.



Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!