In the Media

Army officer to appear in court over teenage cadet drowning

PUBLISHED December 16, 2011

Major George McCallum faces criminal charges after Kaylee McIntosh, 14, died during boating exercise in Loch Carnan

An army major who ran a training exercise near the Outer Hebrides in which a 14-year-old cadet drowned when her boat capsized off South Uist is to appear in court.

Kaylee McIntosh, from Fyvie in Aberdeenshire, was found dead under a dinghy after the boating exercise in Loch Carnan commanded by Major George McCallum was caught in a storm in August 2007.

It emerged on Friday that McCallum, 51, from Peterhead, will appear in Inverness sheriff court on Wednesday 21 December on criminal charges under health and safety legislation.

Investigations by a fatal accident inquiry and the marine accident investigation branch revealed a catalogue of errors, and breaches of army rules and safety procedures, during the exercise.

It emerged that the Rigid Raider boat was overloaded with passengers and unstable, that McIntosh was wearing an adult-sized lifejacket which was too large for her, and that no head count had been taken before the children boarded several boats on the loch.

The inquiries found that officers running the exercise failed to check the weather forecast or carry out a proper risk assessment.

The FAI found that McIntosh, whose body was not discovered for three hours, had probably died after a "reflex cardiac arrest", also known as "dry drowning", when a heart attack is triggered by hypothermia and breathing under water. © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds