Two men have been charged after a 15-year-old girl died in a speedboat crash in the Solent.
Emily Lewis died when the Rigid Inflatable Boat (Rib) struck a buoy in Southampton Water on August 22, 2020. Twelve people were taken to hospital after the accident in which two people were thrown overboard.
A report from the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) revealed that shortly after 10 a.m. the teenager was ‘thrown into the handrail just outside her seat’ when the Rib crashed into the northwest buoy from Netley to Southampton Water at 38.4 knots (44 mph). He found that all the passengers on the boat had suffered some kind of injury.
An inquest into her death heard that Emily, of Park Gate near Southampton, was taken to nearby Southampton General Hospital, where she died of an upper abdominal injury.
It is understood Emily’s father Simon, mother Nikki and 19-year-old sister Amy were also on the boat, and her mother and sister suffered broken arms.
Michael Lawrence, 54, who was driving the boat, was charged with gross negligence manslaughter.
Michael Howley, 51, owner of the company which organized the boat trip, Seadogz, was accused of failing to take all reasonable steps to ensure the boat was operated in a safe manner.
In an earlier statement released by Hampshire Police, her family said: “We are all in shock that our beautiful daughter and sister are no longer with us, and words simply do not seem available to express our deep sense of loss.”
Stuart Parkes, principal of the Brookfield School where Emily was a pupil, described her as “kind, compassionate” and a “brilliant and conscientious pupil”.
Rosemary Ainslie, head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Special Crimes Division, said: ‘The CPS today authorized Hampshire Police to charge two men in connection with the death of 15-year-old Emily Lewis, who was in a boat that struck a buoy in Southampton Water on August 22, 2020.
“The CPS reminds all concerned that the criminal proceedings against these defendants are active and that they are entitled to a fair trial.
“It is extremely important that there are no reports, comments or sharing of information online that could in any way harm the proceedings.”