21st May 2024


Robert Strang instructed by Shearwater Law (Plymouth) for the appellant.

Case ID: JCPC 2023/0044

Jurisdiction: Court of Appeal of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas

Case summary


(1) Did the Court of Appeal of the Bahamas err in setting aside a judge’s finding that the respondent, the owner of a marina, owed the owner of a yacht a duty of care to take reasonable measures to keep the yacht reasonably safe from theft?

(2) If there was such a duty of care, does a judge’s finding that the duty was breached stand?


The appellant, Great Lakes Insurance SE (“Great Lakes“), was the insurer of a yacht known as the Rum N’ Coke (the “Yacht“). The owner of the Yacht was a company known as Modrono’s Bimini Place Limited (“MBP“).

The respondent, RAV Bahamas Limited (“RAV“) was the owner and operator of the Bimini Bay Marina situated on the island of Bimini in the Bahamas (the “Marina“). By a Boat Slip Lease Agreement (“BSL“), RAV granted to MBP the lease of a dock at the Marina. The BSL contained a clause that said MBP would be responsible for taking all necessary precautions to prevent theft.

In the middle of July 2009, while the Yacht was docked at the Marina, an employee of the Marina received a call from an unknown individual claiming to be the owner of the Yacht. The individual instructed the employee to ready the Yacht for sailing and gave specific instructions. The employee did as he was instructed and readied the Yacht. Two days later the employee met two men, one of whom he assumed was the captain of the vessel, who paid the employee for his services. The Yacht was taken and has not been found.

Great Lakes conducted an investigation, concluded that the owners were not involved in the theft of the Yacht and paid out the insurance claim. Great Lakes sued RAV (based on its right of subrogation), claiming damages for breach of contract and negligence.

The Supreme Court of the Bahamas found that RAV owed a duty of care which it had breached and awarded Great Lakes damages. RAV successfully appealed to the Court of Appeal of the Bahamas, which quashed the decision of the lower court to award damages. Great Lakes now appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.



Great Lakes Reinsurance (UK) PLC (as Subrogee of Modrono’s Bimini Place Ltd)


RAV Bahamas Ltd



Lord Briggs, Lord Hamblen, Lord Leggatt, Lord Burrows, Lord Stephens

Hearing start date

10 April 2024

Hearing finish date

10 April 2024

Watch hearing
10 April 2024 Morning session Afternoon session

Judgment details

Judgment date

21 May 2024

Neutral citation

[2024] UKPC 11


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