Speedboat accident in Padstow

(237 Posts)

I don't know if the mother was a MNer, but I am hoping she pulls through with her other DCs and so sorry to hear she lost her husband and daughter, Emily. I know words are useless, but I am thinking of them. It's all so sad and awful. sad

Moominsarehippos Tue 07-May-13 17:38:13

Maybe it just slipped off, or the child fell in and the dad took it off to reach her... Too sad to consider really and awful to think about their injuries.

If I bought a boat, I'd definately get all the safety equipment and training first. Anything with an engine/capability of going over 20 miles and hour ought to have a license to operate.

Florin Tue 07-May-13 17:56:01

I know a lot of people that don't bother connecting the kill cord to themselves making it useless. It is so dumb how difficult is it just attaching it, I do it without even thinking about it, it is just not optional.
Obviously we don't know their full circumstances however I think there needs to be a major shake up of who is allowed to use boats. In our part of Cornwall we know it as the eBay navy when all the tourists arrive in the summer along with their boat. The people have the money to buy a boat but no training is ever required. It should be compulsory you can't just get in a car and drive it without passing your test, boats should be the same. The thing that really upsets me is the number of parents who let their 17 year old sons use their boats while they have a boozy holiday with their underage mates it is an accident waiting to happen and so irresponsible.
RIB's are brilliant boats, we had one until last year when we sold if for something more sensible with a cabin as we had a baby. They are a lot of fun but are seen as toys which they definitely are not.
The number of people who don't wear life jackets is awful. The rule on our boat is no one is allowed on without one. That includes everybody including the dogs there is no exceptions.
Where we are in Cornwall there are companies that rent out little tiny open boats and people take them across the estuary with hardly a coat between them and have never been in a boat before. Often the weather turns when they are having lunch and they face a very cold and wet hour journey back risking hyperthermia.
The water and boats are such a wonderful thing. Our family are addicted to them however they need to be given a lot more respect then they are normally given as they are lethal in the wrong hands.

slhilly Tue 07-May-13 18:05:07

I wonder if there's a way of designing a kill cord so that the boat won't go unless the cord is being worn properly? Would require the talents of an industrial designer but I'd have thought it could be done.

Wishwehadgoneabroad Tue 07-May-13 18:05:17

florin Agree totally.

The sooner it's all legalised, the better. Same with jetskis too. Bloody dangerous mainly because they're used by idiots who are out to 'have a laugh' on the water and then get in everyone else's way and cause havoc

If the child fell in, the first thing you would do is use the kill cord to kill the engine - not take it off.

The only way a kill cord can slip off is it the person using it hasn't attached it properly in the first place.

Wishwehadgoneabroad Tue 07-May-13 18:07:17

silhilly. No. The kill cord has to be put around the ignition for the engine to start, but a lot of people just do that and then don't bother attaching it to themselves.

Seen plenty of idiots doing that. I'm normally the bad guy that goes and tells them to attach it. Unfortunately some people think it's 'not cool' or something to use one, probably the same people who don't wear a helmet when riding a bike. hmm

Unless it was a cord that needed to detect a human pulse to operate!!

TheCraicDealer Tue 07-May-13 18:08:18

Unfortunately Moomin, the most likely cause is the one staring us in the face- he probably just didn't connect the kill cord. If he took it off to get someone in the water, you'd use it to turn off the power to the boat, surely?

Hopefully this will show Cornwall's less experienced sailors that kill cords are a non-negotiable, that they're there for a reason and that reason is to keep you and others safe.

ajandjjmum Tue 07-May-13 18:16:33

Seems like he might have made a basic error of judgement - but what a price he and his family have paid.

Hopefully it will teach others a lesson.

pooka Tue 07-May-13 18:17:04

Agree with wishwedgoneabroad and florin.

Jetskis give me the heebie-jeebies for some reason - tis the idea of falling off and then being stuck out at sea. They've started to be rented from a beach up the coast from where we stay (north cornwall) and you see the lads tearing along towards Padstow. And not always wearing lifejackets which is just insane IMO.

This story has really made me think, and shaken me up. I'm zero tolerance where it comes to following safety rules - canoes with life jackets ALWAYS. Ditto sailing. Children swim on lifeguarded beaches. Follow the flags etc. But we quite often go on one of the commercial (Jaws et al) speedboats out of Padstow and when I first heard the story I thought it was one of those boats but was thinking how very unlikely. I do wonder whether the difference in design of the boats (i.e. not a loose outboard, not rib) makes it more safe. I'm not sure whether they have kill cords...

We've also been on the sealife safari out of Padstow - rib boats this time. But they have life jackets and the actual driver is a lifeboatman I believe, so pretty sure all risks suitably assessed.

Is absolutely tragic waste. Obviously feel desperately sorry for the family and for all the people that witnessed the incident. But what an utter waste if it were for the lack of use of the kill-cord.

I think we should remember that there are four bereaved people in hospital. Nothing I've seen has even said which of the parents was operating the boat. There is a very important safety issue possibly to be raised here but we shouldn't do that at the expense of compassion for this family. Sometimes parents make mistakes. Awful mistakes, that seem incredible. If that's the case then Mrs Milligan has to live with that as well as with two awful bereavements and her own injuries and those injuries her children have suffered. I think she has enough on her plate.

Lazyjaney Tue 07-May-13 18:49:47

"Nope. You just go out and buy one. Same with sailing boats"

You need an ever increasing number of qualifications to rent a sailing boat, and even to put one you own on the water in some places

Sadly anybody with a chequebook can drive a powerboat, despite them being far more dangerous to others.

Wishwehadgoneabroad Tue 07-May-13 18:57:09

You don't need any qualifications to buy a sailing boat and go off sailing. Agree though that generally you do need to show competence/training to rent one.

Luckily, most idiots with money aren't that attracted to sailing and would prefer to take the 'power' option. Incompetent sailors out on the open water are dangerous.

All power boats require kill cords to operate them.

phantomnamechanger Tue 07-May-13 19:02:13

I agree with NL - we do need to make sure we stick with compassion not blame here.

but I am shcoked that there is no basic training or licence needed to operate what is effectively as dangerous, to those on board and those in the vicinity, as a fast car. If any good can come from this awful incident, then tightening up of safety procedures and better awareness among those who may use these boats would help prevent another such tragedy.

MrsSalvoMontalbano Tue 07-May-13 19:16:32

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

I see no need to bring their financial position in to the situation. Horrid post.

Mrs SM - that is a vile post. So it's okay because the woman and children who have lost their husband/father will get some insurance?!!! Wtf?

A dreadful accident and a family destroyed. Awful.

JulieMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 07-May-13 20:03:07

We're asking you to remember that there is a grieving family out there before you post, please.

specialsubject Tue 07-May-13 20:12:14

quite a few other powerboat qualified people on here, I see.

If the kill cord was indeed in the bottom of the boat (as someone mentioned) then what happened is what I thought when I first saw this. Driver was going too fast, doing doughnuts, The boat tips to one side, he falls over the edge and as he does, wrenches the wheel to full lock one side. Hence the boat starts going in circles with spinning knifeblades at the back. The panicking crew are also thrown out into the middle of the circle and...don't think any further.

how do I know? Because this is a classic 'what not to do' and is taught on even the most basic powerboat course. You are also taught to keep the engine away from anyone in the water, and as soon as they touch the boat, you stop the engine. Or earlier and let them swim or drift to you.

of course, if the kill cord had been attached to his leg then the engine would have stopped as he went over the side. So his stupid manoeuvres would only have ended in him getting wet.

I've never been on a jetski (horrendous noisy things) but I believe that they have a dead man's handle and automatically stop if you let go.

sailing dinghies don't need qualifications - but you don't get far with no knowledge, you capsize almost immediately. So it is self-limiting.

The RYA campaign for sailing and powerboating qualifications NOT to be compulsory - but to be recommended and accessible to all. The courses cost peanuts and there is no excuse for anyone who can buy a powerful RIB not to take one.

specialsubject Tue 07-May-13 20:13:04

BTW - my sailing club have posted to the effect of 'sympathy to the family and please, everyone, use the killcord'.

People pass their driving tests, put a seatbelt on etc, but they can still have an accident so I don't think we should speculate. Whatever happened, this is just so awful that all I can think of is how poor Mrs Mulligan must be feeling and her remaining children. I hope they recover soon and have family and friends to help them.

thecatfromjapan Tue 07-May-13 20:24:39

I hope they recover soon, and wish them all the best.

janey68 Wed 08-May-13 07:42:20

Apparently there were kayakers close by. Absolute miracle that no one outside the family was killed or maimed by this incident. It is truly ridiculous that anyone who can afford to buy and moor one of these powerful 'toys' (or indeed anyone who can borrow one off a mate) can climb aboard and set off with no proof of skill, qualification or experience. It's like allowing a formula one car to speed down a country lane. Of course we don't know the detail of this specific case, and it may be that whoever was driving the boat was experienced and skilled. But the fact remains that public waterways with kayakers, sail boats and possibly swimmers are no place for power boats.

Jinty64 Wed 08-May-13 07:51:47

But, no matter what happened, it is a terrible, terrible tragedy. I just hope the mother and little boy pull through.

Moominsarehippos Wed 08-May-13 09:03:40

The family didn't go out thinking 'this is unsafe' or with the intent to injure anyone. Who would knowingly put their children in danger?

It sounds more like an awful accident/mechanical failure or ignorance/complacency.

Startail Wed 08-May-13 09:23:12

You don't need qualifications and pieces of paper to sail a boat. They don't replace common sense. DH's family and mine have owned various boats over the years and sailed them without incident out of some very 'interesting. estuaries.

You can have all the pieces of paper in the world, but they don't replace following basic safety procedures and good maintenance. DH say's a air in the hydraulics could cause the steering on a rib to jam over suddenly as some reports suggest here.

Startail Wed 08-May-13 09:28:57

Whatever happened we should send all our love and sympathy to the family.

My DD and DH use a rib like that, I know DH is careful as he has always sailed, but I wouldn't like the others in the club judged as we are doing here.

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