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Wales This Week, Fighting for Cerys

Cerys Potter died during a rafting trip in Turkey in 2010 Credit: Terry Potter

In July 2010, nine year old Cerys Potter from Llancarfan in the Vale of Glamorgan was on a family holiday in Turkey. She’d been at the resort of Fethiye for a week when she, and other members of her family went out on a white water rafting trip, along the Dalaman river.

During the trip Cerys fell out of her raft and was soon lost in the swirling water amongst the rocks. The next few hours were chaotic, and it seemed to the family that the rafting company, known as Marmaris, had no procedure for missing tourists.

A British nurse in the raft behind saw what happened.

Cerys's father, Terry Potter said:

“The rafting company then, the next day carried on rafting, they said there’d been an accident but no one would have been hurt and they just carried on business as normal”

In fact, Cerys had died in the water, near to where she had fallen out of the raft. Her body was not found for two hours.

Terry Potter is not only trying to get justice for Cerys but has spent three years campaigning to prevent further tragedies. Since 1997 there have been nine deaths on the Dalaman river involving rafting companies.

This year's summer holiday season has started and for Welsh tourists going to Turkey, the advice from the Association of British Travel Agents is clear.

Sean Tipton, spokesman for ABTA said:

“white water rafting is by it’s very nature quite a risky business... if you’re thinking about booking one of these trips, first of all, use a reputable tour company, so if you’re booking through an ABTA tour operator on a package holiday ask the rep who they’d recommend that they use...

...if you’re travelling independently that’s not an option, so at that point speak to the local tourist board. They’ll have a list of companies that they’ll recommend... we would not recommend just going to a local company where you have no way of vetting them at all”.

Last week, after thirteen previous hearings, the Potters returned to the court in Mugla where the Maramis Rafting Company faced charges of Reckless Killing.

Wales This Week is on tonight at 8 on ITV Cymru Wales


Warning over safety standards after rafting death

An MP says tourists should be wary of travelling to Turkey unless there's proof that safety standards have improved.

It follows the death of nine year old Cerys Potter, from the Vale of Glamorgan, who drowned in a whitewater rafting accident in 2010.

Four men were jailed in Turkey over her death, and the Turkish authorities say rules have now been tightened.

Alun Cairns MP, for the Vale of Glamorgan, is encouraging people to consider health and safety when travelling abroad.

You can see more on this story on 'Wales This Week' tonight at 8pm on ITV Cymru Wales.

Read more: Four guilty over rafting death

  1. Joanna Simpson

Turkish rafting company guilty of reckless killing

A rafting company in Turkey has been found guilty of reckless killing following the death of a 9 year old girl from Llancarfan in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Cerys Potter died when the raft she was in capsized in 2010.

Two owners of the company and two of their employees have been sentenced to service five-and-a-half-years each in prison.

This report contains family video, and company footage.

Cerys' parents: more children could have been killed

Cerys' parents, Terry and Julie Potter, were in court in Turkey today to hear a panel of judges hand down guilty verdicts to four men.

Her father told our reporter Kevin Ashford "We couldn't sit back and know that there were still children going on these death traps - and more children were going to get killed."

Two owners and two employees of Marmaris Rafting, the company which ran the excursion Cerys was on when the incident happened in 2010, were found guilty of reckless killing.

Four guilty over Welsh girl's rafting death in Turkey

Nine-year-old Cerys Potter died in a rafting incident in Turkey in 2010. Credit: Cerys Potter Foundation

Four people have been sentenced to five-and-a-half years each in prison, over the death of a Welsh schoolgirl in Turkey.

Cerys Potter, who was nine and from Llancarfan in the Vale of Glamorgan, died while rafting on a river in the south of the country in 2010.

Two owners and two employees of Marmaris Rafting, the company which ran the excursion she was on, have been found guilty of reckless killing in Turkey today.

They have ten days to appeal the verdicts.