Club's guilty manslaughter plea

Prince's Sporting Club in Surrey has pleaded guilty to corporate manslaughter after 11-year-old Mari-Simon Cronje died when she was hit by a boat towing the inflatable she was riding.

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'Promising life' of 11-year-old girl killed in boat accident

Our 11-year-old daughter died prematurely. A promising life stretched out ahead of her, she touched the lives of everyone she met.

We are, and always will be, deeply disappointed by the conduct and behaviour of the boat driver, the management and the owner of PSC.

There was no appreciation for the risk inherent from towing the children in the water.

Emergency procedures were not in place. This directly contributed to Mari-Simon's death.

They (PSC) have individually and collectively avoided taking responsibility for the sub-standard way this was carried out.

– Andre Cronje, father of Mari-Simon Cronje

Witnesses leapt into water after girl fell from boat

The driver of the boat, Matthew Gibson, had no UK-recognised qualification despite having five years' experience as a ski-boat driver. Staff said there was a "lax" attitude to health and safety.

The court was told how parents of some of the children were watching from picnic tables when Mari-Simon fell into the water. Two of the witnesses leapt into the river after failing to get Mr Gibson's attention. The driver later told police he did not see the girl fall in. He said:

I turned the boat around and she went under.

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Sporting club pleads guilty to corporate manslaughter

Prince's Sporting Club in Surrey has pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court to corporate manslaughter after 11-year-old Mari-Simon Cronje died when she was hit by a boat towing the inflatable she was riding.

Southwark Crown Court Credit: Press Association

Company director Frederick Glen Walker was cleared of any offences after the Crown Prosecution Service dropped charges against him.

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