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Last Updated: Monday, 12 September 2005, 13:13 GMT 14:13 UK
Island faces insurance headache
Bardsey Island
Bardsey Island Trust could face a big insurance bill in the future
A charitable trust which runs retreats on an island off north Wales could be liable if poor weather forces visitors to cancel their holiday.

Visits to Bardsey Island, two miles off the Llyn Peninsula, are sometimes cancelled or delayed if the weather is too bad for the ferry to sail.

Bardsey Island Trust has previously advised tourists to take out travel insurance in case of such problems.

But trading standards have now said the trust itself may have to pay out.

The trust discovered it may be liable after one group's insurance company refused a claim for a cancelled trip.

We feel it's a somewhat harsh situation to be in because it's not something of our making or doing - it is the weather
Trust chairman Chris Arnold

Trust chairman Chris Arnold told the BBC: "According to their understanding we were technically a travel agent.

"We subsequently checked this out and according to trading standards that is true."

Mr Arnold said the discovery had come as a shock.

"We'd been happily arranging for many thousands of people to go to the island by arranging their ferry service and providing them with a house in the na´ve belief that we were just a business."


He added: "We feel it's a somewhat harsh situation to be in because it's not something of our making or doing - it is the weather."

Peaceful Bardsey Island, situated two miles (3.2km) off the Llyn Peninsula, was bought by the trust in 1979.

There are seven or so self-catering cottages which are popular with people seeking a different style of holiday.

Visitor Betty Bond, from Jefferson Maine in the United States, said the tiny retreat was ideal for those seeking tranquillity.

"I've done a lot of walking and I've been on my own a lot doing a lot of writing, thinking and reflection.

"I like to explore on my own which is why I came."

The trust - which has not faced any claims yet - is now looking at ways to avoid being faced with big bills in the future, including separating the businesses that arrange the ferry and accommodation.

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