The skipper of a speedboat that crashed into a buoy and killed a 15-year-old schoolgirl was performing high-speed one-handed stunts at the time, a provisional accident report revealed today.
Emily Lewis of Park Gate, near Southampton, died of catastrophic chest injuries after the rigid inflatable boat struck a five-ton navigation buoy the skipper had failed to see within 10 seconds of it. had to spot her.
A Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) report released Thursday said “few safety practices” were followed by the boat’s operators as it made a quick figure of eight laps and narrowly missed a series of buoys on the river. Solent near Southampton Water.
Images showing the horrific moment the boat sank the massive buoy, which was visible 15 feet above the water, was first released today by the MAIB.
Emily Lewis of Park Gate, near Southampton, died of catastrophic chest injuries after a rigid inflatable boat struck a heavy navigation buoy the skipper had not seen
The report states that the ship’s 11 passengers “got used to passing near large navigation buoys at high speed” and therefore “did not care” that the boat was heading straight for the buoy on which it was seated. ‘is overwritten.
All but one of the passengers sustained injuries including broken limbs, fractured vertebrae, dislocations and a punctured lung. Two were thrown overboard from the Seadogz boat.
Emily, seated in a center bench seat, suffered a fatal and catastrophic chest injury following the Southampton Water tragedy in Hampshire around 10 a.m. on August 22 last year as families booked the ‘excursion during the summer holidays.
The MAIB interim report said today that the skipper of the Seadogz carried out a series of one-handed “high speed maneuvers” including eight up and down turns of Southampton Water before the 38.4 knot crash (44.2 mph).
Images showing the horrific moment the boat sank the massive buoy, which was visible 15 feet above the water, was first released today by the MAIB
A report from the Marine Accident Investigation Branch released today said “few safety practices” were followed by boat operators
All but one of the passengers sustained injuries including broken limbs, fractured vertebrae, dislocations and a punctured lung
The damage suffered by the Seadogz RIB as the boat was kept above the water
The underside of the chartered outboard was torn off and hangs under the main section of the boat
He said: “Seadogz collided with the North-West Netley buoy because the skipper of the rigid inflatable boat was concentrating on maneuvering at high speed close to another vessel and did not see the mark fixed navigation in time to take avoidance measures. “
He added: “At 10:08 am Seadogz passed the Red Falcon car ferry, which was heading southeast on Southampton Water.
“It gave the skipper the opportunity to take Seadogz across and thus jump over the wake of the ferry.
As Seadogz passed behind Red Falcon for the fifth time, the Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) accelerated on a constant heading east for 10 seconds until at 10:11:09 a.m. and a speed of 38.4 knots (44.2 mph), it collided with the North-West Netley Starboard Hand Buoy.
“The force of Seadogz’s frontal impact knocked the buoy into an almost horizontal position and threw the bow of the RIB upward.
Emily’s family were on board the speedboat when it crashed, the teenager was conscious when she was taken ashore and later died in hospital from her injuries.
Emily’s father Simon said the family were in shock and felt a “deep sense of loss” after the tragedy
Sharing the tragic news on Facebook, Simon Lewis said: “I have pain but no break, but the emotional pain far exceeds the physical pain”
“The impact and the sudden deceleration forces caused all passengers on board to be thrown violently forward from their seats.”
The report states that the anonymous skipper was “a highly qualified and experienced RIB driver, he had local knowledge of Southampton Water and had worked for Seadogz Rib Charter Ltd on an ad hoc basis for over 8 years”.
The five-ton buoy was visible 4.6 meters (15 feet) above the waterline.
The report added: “The investigation has so far revealed, and is worrying, that few safe working practices in the voluntary sector [Code of Practice] were followed on the day of the accident.
“It should be noted in particular: during the trip, passengers got used to passing near large navigation buoys at high speed. try to alert the skipper.
“High-speed figure-eight turns increase the risk of the RIB snagging or spinning.
Emily, who was conscious when taken ashore, later died in hospital from her injuries
Emily Lewis, 15, died after a speedboat struck a buoy on the River Solent near Southampton Water
“The skipper was operating alone, at high speed and did not see the navigation buoy, which was directly ahead, for 10 seconds before impact.
“Crossing the ferry’s wake at high speed increased both the risk of passengers suffering spinal injuries and of the RIB approaching a craft or object previously obscured by the ferry hull,” leaving the skipper little time to react.
“The performance of the Seadogz Experience Ride on August 22, 2020 was not unusual for such operations.”
MAIB said it is urging all commercial RIB operators to review their security guidelines and said it will produce a full investigation report in the future.
Southampton Harbor Master launch inspecting a buoy off Hythe, Hampshire, after twelve people were taken to hospital
Graphic showing the location of Seadogz and the location of the buoy. A report from the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) said that “few safety practices” were followed by the boat operators
Andrew Moll, Chief Marine Accident Inspector, said: “This tragic accident has many aspects and the MAIB investigation is ongoing.
“However, there are immediate lessons that can be learned now that will help avoid a repeat this summer, which is why the MAIB is issuing an interim report.
“What is of concern is that few safe working practices in the voluntary CoP were followed on the day of the accident.
“These rides can provide excitement, entertainment and fun, and for that reason they are popular.
“However, this terrible accident saw nine people suffer very serious injuries and tragically take the life of a young person.
“As the holiday season approaches, I want to remind operators that they also have a duty of care to their passengers and that safety should not be compromised in the thrill seekers.”
Emily was aboard the Seadogz speedboat with her mother Nikki, father Simon and older sister Amy, 19, who were all injured.
Emily tragically died at Southampton General Hospital later that day. An inquest into his death will be heard at Winchester Coroner’s Court, Hampshire.