Speedboat accident in Padstow

(243 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

edam Thu 09-May-13 22:51:32

Emily? Meant to say oldfatandtired!

Ponders Thu 09-May-13 23:00:52

we went on a powerboat (massively powered) trip round Liverpool docks last year & the bloke driving it was vociferous on the subject of how easy it is for any bugger to go out on the water in the boat equivalent of an Aston Martin

there really should be regulation, driving test equivalent etc sad

I think we still don't know what went wrong in this case?

A lad I know was very badly hurt by a power boat (with driver on board) running over him at Abersoch several years ago - he has scars on his torso that look as if he was bitten by a shark.

edam Thu 09-May-13 23:30:52

eek, ponders.

Expat, I think you and I have been talking at slightly cross purposes. I was trying to say, very awkwardly, that I was not wanting to tread on your toes or say anything insensitive. And obviously got it horribly wrong. Sorry.

Startail Fri 10-May-13 01:12:02

Rules and qualifications don't make people use safety equipment and behave sensibly. They don't prevent mechanical faliers.

Most if the time we drive sensibly and fairly safely because we do it everyday, need to keep our driving licences, don't want to pay speeding fines and most of all have all had near misses or seen nasty accidents.

Boats, for most people, are not like that. They are something you do a few times a year in relaxed having fun mode. You may have a piece of paper saying your qualified, but quite likely you've sailed only twice in the last year and you've forgotten it. Having that piece of paper doesn't make you safer. In fact it probably makes you more complacent. The more expensive and inconvenient the course the smugger people are likely to be.

Far better people are a bit nervous at the start if the season and reread the manual than try to remember some far off course.

MrsSalvoMontalbano Fri 10-May-13 09:10:22

Unfortunately people who are risk-takers will easily take the test, get the piece of paper, but still act like jerks - arrogance and mis-placed self-belief does not get wiped out by passing a test. Typically the type of high-earner/achiever who buys a toy like this will not even consider the rules apply to them. It is not that they don't know the reason for the kill cord, just that they think they are terrific drivers, are too cool to use it. hmm.
Like others, my heart goes out to that poor little boy sad. Hope his leg can be saved, but even so, terrible emotional scars for him sad sad

Startail Fri 10-May-13 12:10:59

Yes, sad it feels quite wrong to be having this discussion in the light of the personal tragedy involved.

However, I think society in general has to step back from regulation, qualifications, training and pieces of paper being the way to prevent accidents.

As MrsSM says getting qualifications wouldn't have bothered my DDads rich business owning friend and his partner. They succeeded in business by luck, nerve and bending the rules. They dealt in sports cars and speed boats for fun. The cost of a safety course and a weekend on the coast would just go on the price of the next sports car they sold on.

For my Dad as a weekend dingy sailer with an ancient baby outboard such expenses would have been really hard to justify. Our dear old boat was his pride and joy, beautifully maintained and very carefully and skilfully sailed.

Unless you are very careful regulations will impact on the wrong people. Careful weekend sailers, small sailing clubs, dive clubs, people trying to scratch a living hiring dinghies and canoes. Not the people who can afford fast jet skis and power boats. Also given the hundreds of beaches and small slipways round our coast and massive cutbacks to the coast guard service how would you enforce it?

specialsubject Fri 10-May-13 18:38:51

Startail's wise post is why, I believe, the RYA are not campaigning for mandatory regulation (I don't speak for them).

IF this disaster was caused by not using the killcord, then the only good that can come out of it is further publicity of what can happen if you don't. Then maybe just one boy racer will think twice.

oldfatandtired1 Fri 10-May-13 18:54:37

I've been thinking about my earlier post and just wanted to expand a bit. Perhaps I should start a new thread as I don't want to lose sight of the personal tragedy involved in the case of the Padstow accident.

My STBX did have some dinghy sailing experience at school but - he bought his 36 foot yacht a few years ago and took the family out in it. He scared us all to death as he had no idea what he was doing. I insisted on our wearing life jackets at all times - he 'didn't see the point' unless we were sailing in poor conditions. The DC could swim, after all? Well, surely if you go overboard you will be in shock - perhaps you might hit your head when you go in and not be able to swim? The DC, being young teenagers, 'sided' with him and did not wear their lifejackets - they were 'uncomfortable'. I lived in fear of one of them tripping over a shoelace and falling in. (They do see things very differently now).

I don't know if he knew about the correct use of the kill cord and chose not to share with us or was just ignorant (in both senses of the word).

When we accompanied him I met many careful sailors who obviously loved being out on the water BUT I also met some self- entitled tossers who just saw their boats as 'toys'.

I'm not really sure what I'm trying to say here and I don't know what the answer is. As Mrs SM says some people do think the rules don't apply to them.

Lazyjaney Sat 11-May-13 10:15:13

"However, I think society in general has to step back from regulation, qualifications, training and pieces of paper being the way to prevent accidents"

Interesting. Do those of you against licensing and qualifications for using large, powerful watercraft feel they should be removed for cars and aircraft too?

Clearly you wouldn't want regulation for dinghies and small Ribs like those yachts tow, but very powerful speedboats clearly (from this tragic event) should be another matter.

Startail Sat 11-May-13 11:34:54

Yes, but where do you draw line. Small outboards are still dangerous, you can run down a swimmer on a windsurfer. The dangers of not wearing life jackets are just as serious if you go into cold shock toppling off a Tiny topper dingy as a big yacht.

Life comes with risks, having fun often comes with extra risks, but frequently less than driving there.

My parents neighbours died enjoying a ride on their motorbike because a driver chocked on a boils sweet and lost concentration. You can't legislate against every tiny mistake people make, even when those mistakes have terrible consequences.

specialsubject Sat 11-May-13 13:11:13

oldfatandtired (!) - a 36 foot yacht won't have a killcord because it won't circle like a rib. The small outboard-engined powerboat would have one, and it must be used.

There are situations on a yacht when lifejackets must be worn, but anyone who wants to wear one all the time should do so without mockery. (BTW lifejacket and buoyancy aid not the same)

Man overboard is the big yachting emergency and is the one that all yachties need to know how to deal with, and how to avoid if possible. It is quite difficult to get even a conscious and uninjured MoB back.

No-one should ever go out on a yacht where only one person knows how to 'drive'. You need at least two.

specialsubject Sat 11-May-13 13:12:34

ps you can't wear a lifejacket on a Topper dinghy, it would stop you turning the boat and you would capsize straight away. Only a buoyancy aid is suitable, which means you must be able to swim.

If the water is cold and you don't have the right clothing/wetsuit, you shouldn't be sailing.

oldfatandtired1 Sat 11-May-13 14:13:45

special yes, I meant the little dinghy, not the sailing yacht. I did live in fear of H going overboard though - I did my competent crew but to be honest never felt very competent! And the DCs were too young and not strong enough to be much help.

specialsubject Sat 11-May-13 22:52:22

competent crew isn't enough to drive the boat. There should be two on the yacht qualified to do that, especially if there are kids on board.

not getting at you, 'oldfatandtired' (I'm sure you aren't!) - just for everyone's reference.

teddyandgypsy Sun 12-May-13 22:05:33

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

teddyandgypsy Sun 12-May-13 22:07:40

My feelings exactly. This joy ride was only safe if absolutely everything went to plan. There was no margin for safety at all and Mr. Milligan and his daughter are dead and the rest of the family deeply scarred. And all for what - quite possibly showing off with an expensive toy

Oh come on! You aren't seriously suggesting that parents of four children need extra adults with them on any expedition just in case? I have three daughters and sometimes dh is away. Shall I get someone to sleep in the house so I'm up to ratio to rescue them from fire hmm

You don't KNOW all of those things at all, because the facts are not in the public domain. Nor do they need to be at this point.

Hang on - did you mean to name change to do the second post shock

MoreBeta Sun 12-May-13 22:19:47

From what I have read from the very knowledgable people on this thread it seems to me that the idea of a 'kill cord' is fundamentally flawed.

The idea of a 'deadmans clutch' as on a jet ski (and also on vehicles like a tube train) seems like a very good non optional way to prevent this awful accident ever happening again. Unless someone's hand is physically on the deadmans clutch the engine stops.

exoticfruits Sun 12-May-13 22:24:27

I don't think we should be sitting comfortably discussing other people's tragedies - it doesn't feel right. It is ridiculous to say that larger families have to take extra adults when they go out- it isn't possible most of the time or desirable.

ItsYonliMe Mon 13-May-13 09:00:57

This has become a very distasteful thread. Lots of unnecessary and cruel speculation. A family has been devastated beyond belief and it's in very poor taste to be discussing this tragedy as if you were trying to find out what actually happened.

exoticfruits Mon 13-May-13 09:14:23

I think it is MN at its worst- it certainly isn't the kind, caring side.

pooka Mon 13-May-13 10:19:01

To be fair, it's only really Teddy and.... err... Teddy who has been so incredibly distasteful. Other than her and...her, I think posters have in the main tried to be diplomatic, sympathetic and non-judgemental.

teddyandgypsy Mon 13-May-13 11:16:39

No. What I said is fact. I stand by what I said. Two of these children were far too small to be in an open-sided high powered speed boat cresting the waves. Common sense is in short supply amongs all the hypocrisy.

teddyandgypsy Mon 13-May-13 11:18:56

The Kill Cord requires only one thing to make it function - the intelligence of the person driving the boat. It is assumed that people driving such potentially lethal machines will want to take all precautions necessary to ensure the safety of their passengers and themselves. It takes seconds only to attach this Cord and I have seen it done on countless occasions.

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