Page last updated at 19:26 GMT, Tuesday, 6 October 2009 20:26 UK

MSPs consider deaths abroad plea

Colin Love
Colin Love died in January while on holiday in Venezuela

MSPs have agreed to consider calls from a mother whose son drowned abroad for a change in procedures for dealing with deaths overseas.

Julie Love told the Scottish Parliament's petitions committee inquiries should be held in Scotland following deaths abroad.

The plea came after the death of her 23-year-old son Colin, in Venezuela.

The committee will consider the case after a review of fatal accident inquiry laws, currently under way.

Ms Love, from Glasgow, said: "Today was really positive. I am delighted that both the Scottish justice secretary and the public petitions committee are looking seriously at my campaign.

"I know this is a campaign Colin would have fought for others had he been alive today".

She earlier said her family had been left with many unanswered questions following the death of her son.

'No warnings'

He was on a cruise in Venezuela in January and, while visiting Margarita Island, drowned while swimming.

Ms Love, who lives in Maryhill, has accepted it was probably a tragic accident, but argued lifeguards should have been on the beach and warning signs should have been in place.

Julie Love
Julie Love wants Scottish families to be treated the same as those in England

"Colin was a really, really good swimmer but that beach is apparently notorious for the undertow," she told BBC Scotland.

"There have been lots of deaths there but there were no warning signs or lifeguards."

Ms Love said she was also concerned her son's body had lain on the beach for more than five hours, adding: "A German man contacted me who had tried to help revive Colin. He went back to lay flowers five hours later and his body was still there."

She said a fatal accident inquiry, under similar arrangements which exist in England, would be able to make recommendations to the Venezuelan authorities.

"I would like this law changed to ensure other families don't go through what we've had to go through," Ms Love said.

"If your son or daughter dies abroad the government can't do anything to help you. Why should it be different for English families?"



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