Fairytale death speedboat from New York singer Kirsty MacColl after saving her son


New York fairytale singer Kirsty MacColl died seconds after saving her young son’s life in horror boat crash – and man found responsible was fined just £ 61

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Kirsty MacColl sings Fairytale of New York in 1992

One of the most popular Christmas songs of all time, Fairytale of New York gets everyone singing, playing their best scrambled impression of the Pogues’ Shane MacGowan.

But there is a heart-wrenching story behind the song, a tragedy that occurred 13 years after it was first released.

Singer Kirsty MacColl, who lent her voice to the festive hit, died in a horrific boating accident in 2000 in front of her children.

Her death came just seconds after heroically saving the life of her 15-year-old son Jamie.

Kirsty was on vacation in Cozumel, Mexico with her sons and boyfriend, musician James Knight, and it was the holiday season.

The family went diving at Chankanaab Reef, part of Cozumel National Marine Park, in a designated diving area where boats were not allowed to enter.

With the group was a local veteran divemaster named Iván Díaz.

Kirsty MacColl and Shane MacGowan are behind one of the biggest Christmas hits of all time


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As the group surfaced after a dive, a high-speed motorboat entered the restricted area.

A terrified Kirsty saw the boat arrive before her sons did.

Louis, who was 13 at the time, was not on his way, but Jamie, 15, was – and narrowly escaped with his life.

She was able to bravely push Jamie out of the path of the boat, and he suffered only minor head and rib injuries – but Kirsty was hit by the boat and he crushed her.

She died instantly from serious injuries to her chest. She was only 41 years old.

The motorboat was owned by wealthy businessmen Guillermo Gonzalez Nova who were on board at the time.

The craft was in a section of water where ships were prohibited, and it was claimed to be moving at high speed.

A boat arm called Jose Cen Yam was blamed and only paid a minor fine.

Kirsty MacColl collaborated with Shane MacGowan on Fairytale of New York

The singer was only 41 when she died on vacation in Mexico



Kirsty’s heartbroken mother Jean MacColl spoke to the Irish Sunday Mirror in 2014, where she vowed she would never give up trying to bring those responsible for the death to justice – and criticized the investigation of the Mexican judicial system on the tragedy.

Jean said she couldn’t believe the crew member only received a small fine in court.

She said: “It was £ 61, an insignificant amount. I had to tell her sons on Mothers Day that it was their mother’s whole life that was valued. I was angry, I am still angry.

“All I wanted was the truth. I didn’t want his money, it’s dirty. I just wanted him to tell me the truth but he didn’t have the guts or the guts.

“I even wrote him a letter saying I just wanted the truth but he never replied.”

She added: “I despise him completely. I don’t know how he can live with himself.”

Jean, who died in 2017, started the Justice For Kirsty group with her family in an attempt to get answers, but the organization had to end its campaign in 2009.

Jean said the man who was responsible for Kirsty’s death was fined just £ 61.


Ian Vogler / Daily Mirror)

She explained, “The only reason I gave up was because someone high enough in our legal system told us we wouldn’t get justice because the system is so corrupt.

“I’ve been to Mexico twice and would go back tomorrow all at once, although it would probably kill me. But you know you don’t get justice and it’s just wasted money.”

Jean said Kirsty would be so proud of what happened to her sons.

“Kirsty would love to see they turned into two nice men. It’s not just a talking grandma, everyone loves them,” she said.

“Jamie is now also in the music business. He runs Ellie Goulding and I would like to think he would have run Kirsty.”

Jean was still in contact with The Pogues after their collaboration with Kirsty on Fairytale Of New York, and she’s also still attached to the small Mexican town where her daughter, originally from Croydon, died.

Locals have always been supportive and Jean said she hopes a small tribute to her daughter will be erected in the area.

“There are still people in the world asking why this memorial was not built, somewhere where people could go and lay flowers,” she said.

Despite her years, Jean was still full of fighting spirit, although she admitted that she felt “bitter” from the years with Kirsty from which she had been robbed.

“When I think Kirsty passed away at 41 and I’m almost 92, I lived almost 50 years older than my daughter. I’m bitter about it,” she said.

“I have to make this weather work, she wouldn’t have expected me to have a quiet life.”

In 2015, Jean would finally receive happy news.

His son Hamish married his French partner, Rosie, and his morale was hugely high.

“I have another daughter in the family which is nice,” she said.

“Of course, when Kirsty left, I was the only woman left in our little family. Now Hamish is married, we have another daughter MacColl.

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