If there has been a fatality, the police will gather evidence to look into any criminal liability that may attach to the individual in charge of the dive. Where the alleged negligence goes beyond simple civil law liability, the criminal offence of gross-negligence manslaughter will be considered by the police. Once they have gathered the evidence they will seek charging advice from the Crown Prosecution Service.
If you do find yourself charged with this offence, you may well be entitled to legal aid to fund your defence. We would advise you contact us a soon as possible so we can arrange for you to be represented at the police station. If you do not have your own solicitor, we can recommend a firm with experience in criminal and diving related cases.
Ultimately your case will be heard before a jury in the Crown Court. We have extensive experience of Crown Court advocacy and will ensure you have the best possible representation and advice during the court process.
Health & Safety investigation
If the police do not have grounds to charge you, the Health & Safety Executive will consider whether you have breached the Diving at Work Regulations or any other relevant regulations.
They have a specialist group of experienced divers who will consider all the evidence following a diving incident.
They have the power to place you under a restriction preventing you from undertaking work as an instructor or supervisor. They also have the power to bring their own criminal prosecutions.
Some example cases:
1) 12 months imprisonment for forging a diving qualification certificate in contravention of Diving at Work Regulations.
2) £3,000 fine for breaching Diving at Work Regulations, following the death of a trainee.