By: Shifra Unger
Paul Ward watches as the ship burns down
Businessman Paul Ward was at the crest of a wave, when it raised the luxury yacht that had paid £269,000 at the Southampton Boat Show.
The elegant Meridian 341, a motor yacht of four berths with two state rooms and amenities, is the dream of every sailor.
But that dream quickly became a nightmare when just 15 minutes after picking up the boat at a shipyard in Hampshire, Mr. Ward, 61, and crew member John Innes jumped for their lives, their clothes in flames, as the ship exploded.
Mr. Ward, now of Woking, Surrey, and Ms. Roads have taken a writ trying to include the cost of the boat at £269,000, experts and consultants' fees, £25,000, forensic experts £9,136.67, storage costs of £3,935.31 and other expenses.
It then intends to take further action for damages in respect of their injury and psychiatric harm.
Then, as he groaned in a raft on a freezing cold day, they watched in horror as the ship was on fire, a large fireball and sank beneath the waves.
Both were rescued by a lifeboat and rushed to Southampton General Hospital with severe burns.
A Coast Guard spokesman said: "When we first saw the burning ship our rescue helicopter personnel were convinced that no one could have escaped alive. It's a miracle anyone survived.”
Mr. Ward and his partner Dawn roads now are suing dealers MGM Marine Ltd, operating as MGM Boats, and Dun Laoghaire Yacht Services for more than £300,000.
The appeal in the Supreme Court says that the yacht was defective.
Mr. Ward says he is lucky to be alive.
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