The owner of an ill-fated dhow which capsized in Bahrain, killing 58 people including a mother and daughter from the Midlands, is bringing civil proceedings against one of the British survivors.

Simon Hill (44), from Southampton, is accused of ordering the captain of the converted pleasure boat al Dana to set sail against his wishes.

He was among scores of partygoers from engineering company Nass-Murray & Roberts on board to celebrate the completion of the first phase of the Bahrain World Trade Centre.

The 80ft traditional sailing vessel was carrying around 130 people when it toppled over in calm waters on March 30. Fifteen Britons on board died, including 64-year-old Patricia Doyle and her daughter Roslyn, aged 35, from Hagley, Worcestershire.

Shortly afterwards, Mr Hill gave an emotional press conference telling how he clung to the hull of the upturned boat as he fought for survival.

He has now been barred from leaving Bahrain pending the civil proceedings which have been brought against him by the boat's owner Abdullah al-Kobaisi.

Mr al-Kobaisi and the boat's Indian captain Rajendrakumar Ramjibhai are themselves facing criminal charges, accused of "fatal neglect" and " sea transportation deficiency".

Their case, which opened in June, was adjourned for the summer and is due to start again in mid-September.

Mr Hill's company Nass-Murray & Roberts is supporting his civil defence case, which is expected to start before the criminal proceedings recommence.

Millard Arnold, from the company's headquarters in Johannesburg, said he thought the case against Mr Hill was problematic.

"I just think that there is no proof at all that Mr Hill was engaged or involved with ordering the ship to sail," he said.

"He is the only person since this accident that has had any kind of penal effect. It is quite ironic that he was a victim of the tragedy and he is the one being penalised."

Mr Arnold said he did not think that the dhow's captain would have been able to identify Mr Hill from more than 100 passengers on board, after meeting him once.

Both criminal and civil proceedings into the incident will rely on the findings of an official 60-page report.

The inquiry was carried out by a technical investigation committee, upon the instruction of Bahrain's Attorney General.

Clive Garner, a partner at UK solicitors Irwin Mitchell, is representing the families of 15 of the deceased and a number of survivors.

He said the report accused a number of individuals and organisations of negligence.

Mr Garner said the families were still considering the evidence from the report before taking civil action.