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Wedding guests fall into a lake as they pose for wedding photo

A wedding which was held in a South African beauty spot took a turn for the worst when the official photographs were interrupted when the decking at the venue gave way. The wooden decking gave way which meant 80 smartly dressed guests fell into the murky waters of the lake. Bride Marli van der Walt and husband Hoffman were obviously extremely surprised as the decking started to creak and then collapsed.

Hoffman’s sister said “One minute we were all standing together waiting for the photograph to be taken and the next thing I knew I was underwater. It was pretty frightening at first – people tried to grab hold of each other for safety. Suddenly we were all in the water and it was just chaos. They had wanted everyone on the decking because it was a lovely backdrop for the pictures, with the mountains behind. As we stood there was some joking about who was so big that they were making the deck creak, when the deck groaned again. The next moment the woodent struts decided they’d had enough and broke right behind where the bride and groom were standing.” The incident happened at a hotel called the Dragon Peaks hotel near Winterton in KwaZulu-Natel. Amazingly no one was seriously injured. One man, the bride’s nephew cut his leg on a piece of wood and was later treated in hospital. Alet, Hoffman’s sister added “Once we knew everyone was OK we found it all quite funny. Hoffman had to wring out his socks, and then he got the party started again. Some people were angry because their clothes were dirty and their cell phones or cameras had been broken but the bride and groom were determined not to let what had happened spoil their day so we just carried on as normal. Most of us were staying in the hotel and so we went and changed. Some of the older guests were a bit shocked by it all but in the end it was a fantastic party. At least it means they’ll have wedding photos they’ll never forget!”

The wedding party have asked the hotel to replace their guest’s property and also asked them to purchase a new electric wheelchair for the bride’s mother as it was damaged when the decking collapsed. The electric wheelchair costs £1,800 to replace. The hotel manager, Bithia Katz said she apologised to the happy couple, “the deck was quite new, certainly no more than five years old. It was designed to take a significant weight but it clearly became overloaded. It was unfortunate that this happened to a wedding party but luckily nobody was seriously hurt. Afterwards they all carried on as normal and enjoyed themselves.”

As this story shows unforeseen problems can occur during your wedding day. Wedding insurance gives you the peace of mind that if something does go wrong then you will be financially reimbursed. E&L offer wedding insurance online from £19.50. Visit www.eandl.co.uk/wedding for more information.

Source: www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1258547/South-Africa-80-wedding-guests-fall-lake-Dragon-Peaks-hotel.html, 17th March 2009

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