Southampton Water speedboat crash details revealed in MAIB report


A SPEEDBOAT skipper ‘played loud music and performed high-speed manoeuvres’ in an accident that killed a 15-year-old girl.

According to a report released today by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB).

The MAIB report says the vessel collided with the North-West Netley buoy because the master was “concentrating on performing these maneuvers in close proximity to another vessel and did not see the buoy in time to avoid it”.

Emily Lewis, 15, of Park Gate, who was described as a ‘beautiful daughter and sister’, suffered fatal internal injuries when she was thrown against the handrail just in front of her bench seat after the Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB ) crashed into a navigation buoy at a speed of 44.2 mph.

Before setting off from Ocean Village Marina, Southampton, that morning, the skipper told passengers the boat was ‘very fast’ and if they felt uncomfortable during the excursion they should get up hand in the air, and he would “bring the boat to a halt”.

On board were the skipper and 11 passengers.

Emily’s father Simon Lewis, his wife Nikki and Emily’s older sister Amy, 19, were all on the RIB heading into the Solent when it hit the buoy.

Ms Lewis and Amy both had their arms broken.

The report states: “Everyone aboard the Seadogz, except for one passenger, suffered injuries in the collision, including broken limbs, fractured vertebrae, dislocations and a punctured lung.”

Two passengers were even thrown overboard in the water, the impact causing the boat to turn upwards.

The boat was owned and operated by Seadogz Rib Charter Ltd.

The skipper of Seadogz is said to have been a highly skilled and experienced RIB driver – he had local knowledge of Southampton Water and had worked for the company for over eight years.

Chief Marine Casualty Inspector Andrew Moll said: “These rides can provide excitement, entertainment and fun, and that’s why they’re popular.

“However, this terrible accident saw nine people sustain very serious injuries and tragically cost the life of a youngster.

“As the holiday season approaches, I would like to remind operators that they also have a duty of care to their passengers, and that safety should not be compromised in pursuit of thrills.”

A full report will be released when the investigation is complete.

Family tribute to their “beautiful daughter”

Emily’s family paid tribute to her after the fatal accident last year.

They said: “Our beautiful daughter Emily has passed away.

“We suffered broken bones, but the emotional pain far outweighs the physical pain.

“We are all in shock that our beautiful daughter and sister is no longer with us, and words just don’t seem to be available to express our deep sense of loss.”

Stuart Parkes, the headmaster of Brookfield School where Emily was a pupil, described her as a “kind and compassionate” young woman.

He said: “Emily was a kind and compassionate young woman who cared deeply about those around her.

“His concern showed no bounds; from volunteering to support new students to becoming a student leader with aspirations to help shape the education of every student in our school.

“He was a creative soul who loved textiles and design and showed great potential. She was motivated and dedicated to her studies, a positive example for all.

“Emily was a bright and conscientious student who will be greatly missed by all staff and students at Brookfield.


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