Sheffield sisters swept away in Vietnam waterfall were not ‘warned of its danger,’ inquest finds

Two Sheffield sisters who suffered fatal injuries after being swept away in a Vietnam waterfall were not ‘warned of its danger,’ a coroner has ruled.

Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 11:38 am

Sisters Izzy Squire, 19 and Beth Anderson, 24, died with Christian Sloan, 24, during a day trip to the Dalania waterfall area of Vietnam in February 2016.

Senior Coroner, Chris Dorries, ruled the trio got into trouble in the water, and subsequently died, after their tour guide failed to warn them it was imperative to exit a natural water slide he took them to from the left.

“The evidence is clear enough for me to find on the balance of probabilities that the group were not sufficiently warned of the danger of failing to exit left at the bottom of the water slide in that either: they were not given a proper safety warning and/or it was not ensured that this was properly understood,” Mr Dorries told Sheffield Coroners’ Court today.

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Mr Dorries said he did not accept the account given by the trio’s tour guide, Mr Van Si, that he advised the trio on how to exit the water slide, adding that neither witness accounts or a video taken by a member of another tour group supported his version of events.

He said: “There is no way of knowing on the evidence available, what was said and lost in any marginal language difference or accented speech, nor where the briefing was given in terms of background noise. But is seems unlikely that three intelligent and overtly safety conscious young adults would ignore a clear protective instruction if this had been communicated to them.”

After exiting the water slide to the right, the group was swept into a perilous waterfall 15 metres away, where they suffered their fatal injuries.

The court heard how Christian, who met Beth and Izzy the day before the trio suffered their fatal injuries, had carried out research to identify a reliable tour company.

A worker at the tour company, Dam Me Da Lat Co, also noticed how one of the two girls had expressed caution when the group were discussing which tour to book.

“I am satisfied there was a careful and conservative approach by the group to the choice of tour, and to their own actions that day,” said Mr Dorries.

He added: “I was disturbed to hear from the families that in the period following the deaths, the uninformed chose to make a number of allegations that the trio acted unwisely...there is no evidence at all that such was the case.

Mr Dorries recorded a narrative conclusion.