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Brighton man not at fault over polar bear mauling
An expedition leader who suffered massive injuries when he was mauled by a polar bear as he took teenagers on a trip will not face prosecution.
Andy Ruck, from Brighton, was one of two leaders on the British School Exploring Society (BSES) trip to Svalbard in Norway last year.
The group had set up camp in August when they came under attack from a starving polar bear.
The animal attacked and killed Horatio Chapple, 17, and seriously injured four people, among them 27-year-old Mr Ruck.
After the incident Mr Ruck’s father Dick and mother Jan, of Chichester Road East, Saltdean, said their son had suffered permanent eye damage and severe head injuries in the incident.
An investigation was launched to determine if the BSES had been guilty of negligence.
In March the Svalbard Governor announced that the investigation into the tragedy had been completed and there was no criminal case to answer.
Horatio Chapple’s parents appealed that decision and the case went to the public prosecutor’s office of Troms and Finnmark in Norway.
Now the public prosecutor has announced the original decision was the correct one and that no one should be prosecuted over the tragedy.
A statement from the Svalbard Governor’s office said: “The investigation reveals that the tragic outcome of the accident was first and foremost the result of a number of unfortunate circumstances.
“A case will only be taken to court when the prosecuting authority finds that guilt can be proven beyond any reasonable doubt.”
The BSES declined to comment yesterday (June 6).
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