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

VivaLeBeaver Mon 06-May-13 12:32:35

"life changing" injuries doesn't sound good. sad

No. I must admit, I cried when I read that.

expatinscotland Mon 06-May-13 12:35:40

So very, very sad.

phantomnamechanger Mon 06-May-13 13:10:39

Horrific. For the family, the eye witnesses and all those involved in the rescue/investigation. Not what anyone wants on a nice sunny holiday weekend. I hope the surviving family members receive the care & support they need to be able to be strong and make as good progress as possible.

furbaby Mon 06-May-13 13:23:22

Mmm this is horrid , only know about it as company I work for had his boat in for re tubing last year .... my thoughts are with the family sad

expatinscotland Mon 06-May-13 13:24:54

How shocking.

flippinada Mon 06-May-13 14:19:02

It's horrible, isn't it? Such a terrible thing to happen and no doubt it was meant to be a treat.

I hope the surviving family members are getting the support and care they need.

expatinscotland Mon 06-May-13 14:22:35

Shame there was no kill cord. Just hope the surviving family are getting good care and support. Such a horrific accident.

Tailtwister Mon 06-May-13 17:34:08

Just heartbreaking.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 06-May-13 17:40:30

Years ago a friend of dh's took me, dh and dd out in a RIB speedboat in the sea. It was his boat and I trusted him.....though I think maybe he showed off a bit. Loads of going really fast so the boat bounced up and smacked down.

I don't remember seeing a kill cord, didn't know about them as I don't know anything about boats. Scary.

It is scary. I just hope the mother doesn't blame herself in any way because it was a tragic accident.

specialsubject Mon 06-May-13 19:53:41

it is just possible that the killcord failed - if they are not replaced sufficiently often they can break, so if the driver falls out of the boat, the cord breaks rather than pulling out and thus stopping the engine.

any boat where the driver can fall out must be operated with a killcord. Propeller injuries can be unspeakable.

very, very sad.

phantomnamechanger Mon 06-May-13 21:40:46

There's me naively wondering how the whole family can end up in the sea and with serious injuries - I was assuming the child's death had been drowning due to no life jacket but I had not thought of propeller injuries. Adds a bit of light to the "life changing injuries too". God how awful. sad

EggAndBaconUmbrella Mon 06-May-13 23:46:14

probable leg amputations from horrific injuries by the propeller was what news said earlier.

timtam23 Tue 07-May-13 00:18:50

An awful accident. DH and I were both talking about it this morning, it's very sad. The poor family, presumably out for a fun day on the water and then this happens. Thinking of them all.

lborolass Tue 07-May-13 14:59:22

What a terrible accident, I hope the mum and children make a good recovery.

I have no knowledge of speedboats at all but have seen explanations on other forums that the kill cord isn't an automatic device but something the driver of the boat has to set themselves. This seems to be a safety featue that could be improved.

there was a cord, it was still in the boat.

very sad.

MrsSalvoMontalbano Tue 07-May-13 15:31:15

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agree

janey68 Tue 07-May-13 17:07:03

We can't know all the details of this specific incident and obviously it's a tragedy for this family, but I do feel mrssalvo has a point. It's shocking that people can be in charge of high powered boats, jet skis etc without necessarily having the training or skills to handle them. And very often it's in close proximity to vulnerable canoeists , bathers etc
The tragedy could have been so much worse and affected others outside the family.

Wishwehadgoneabroad Tue 07-May-13 17:10:54

If the kill cord was found in the boat, then highly likely the man wasn't wearing it.

No watersports instructor would ever drive a powerboat without attaching the kill cord - but that's because we're trained.

Joe Bloggs with expensive 'toys' don't have training or qualifications, and unfortunately probably don't realise just how important one is.

Very sad story for all involved. sad

Hopefully, some legalities will come out of this. As it stands, anyone can buy a high speed boat and 'play' on the water with no training. It's absolute madness.

exactly- people have said the cord must have broken etc but it needs to be worn to work.
you wouldn't drive a car without a license but every few months a whole lot of people come to Cornwall and treat these high powered boats like toys.

Moominsarehippos Tue 07-May-13 17:21:15

So there's no training required to own one of these things? The papers said that it was their own boat. I find it shocking that someone can buy one and drive it away. These things go fast amd have sharp blades that can do a heck of a lot of damage. I'm amazed that no other folks were also hurt (swimmers, other sailors, etc).

I have driven smaller speed boats and assumed that the kill cord was automatic and a requirement.

Wishwehadgoneabroad Tue 07-May-13 17:32:26

Nope. You just go out and buy one.

Same with sailing boats.

Highly unlikely imo that the kill cord was faulty. They do wear but you would notice that as you need to put it on round the ignition to use it. And you certainly wouldn't use it if it were worn (if that makes sense) unless you had no idea just how important they are.

Kill cords are literally just red cords - it clips around the ignition that you put the other end usually around your ankle. So in the unlikely event you get thrown out of the boat it kills the engine. It's also the quickest way to kill the engine if you have to rescue someone in the water.

sad All very sad in any case.

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.

expatinscotland Wed 08-May-13 09:34:44

I hope the rest of the family pulls through, but the horror of that day will haunt them forever sad.

janey68 Wed 08-May-13 09:36:18

Oh I'm absolutely sure they didn't set out with the intention of anyone gettng killed or injured. But the fact remains that many people feel there should be legislation around this type of craft... It can be just as lethal as a car or plane and you can't just hop in either of those and set off. It doesn't diminish the fact this is an awful tragedy for the family, I think that goes without saying.

edam Wed 08-May-13 09:48:18

Of course we all feel desperately sorry for the family - it's an horrendous tragedy. But if it was caused by lack of use of the kill cord, that's appalling and highly irresponsible - tragically. People should be made to take a course and gain a qualification before they can use any powered craft.

My Dad sails. He took his Yachmaster's. It's what you DO. It's common sense! (On his 'test' - dunno what the proper term is - his instructor had a heart attack. My Dad had to sail the boat back into harbour while liaising with the emergency services - we all teased him that because his instructor wasn't really paying attention, he's not actually fully qualified. Obv. had the instructor died we really wouldn't be joking about it!)

BlueSkySunnyDay Wed 08-May-13 09:50:00

I think everyone appreciates that this is an awful thing to happen and send our sympathies to the family. We dont know how it happened so obviously cannot assume it was negligence rather than a fault, apart from which this isnt really the time for it is it?

But as this has happened at the beginning of the summer season it is worth discussing what should be done to be safe - even if only one person listens it could save an unnecessary accident from happening.

I would imagine the same kind of people are drawn to motor boats as sports cars - focussed on the speed and the thrill of the thing...safety? "Pah, it wont happen to me" I've heard friends say it.

Xenia Wed 08-May-13 09:57:45

Very very sad. Presumably they were swimming very close together which meant so many of them were hit. I hope he did follow safety rules, have the kill cord etc.

Wishfulmakeupping Wed 08-May-13 10:12:49

Heartbreaking poor poor family so tragic. Must have been awful for people watching it happening feeling helpless very brave of the 2 boat men's to do what they did before more people were injured.

gazzalw Wed 08-May-13 10:13:43

It is a horrid, horrid tragedy. I cannot imagine how it will be for the mother, with her own life-changing injuries, to have to support three children, one of whom also has the same type of injuries, and cope with grieving the loss of her husband and a daughter. :-( sad.

My thoughts are with the surviving family members...

specialsubject Wed 08-May-13 10:15:01

all accidents need to be investigated so that the chance of a repetition can be reduced.

IF this was a 'didn't use the killcord' situation, then perhaps it will make those who don't realise that what they were taught is true.

Tingalingle Wed 08-May-13 10:26:00

When we used to sail as a family at a sailing club, initially there was always a powered 'safety boat' around to collect capsized youngsters quickly.

After a couple of years, there was an edict from the club head office that the 'safety boat' had to be banned, as their judgement was that it was far more dangerous to have a powered craft in the water -- even in relatively careful hands -- than to let the children flounder around until rescued by canoe.

Xenia Wed 08-May-13 11:06:00

Ting, that reminds me of sailing holidays we have had on land. They are always very very careful to rope off and totally separate at resorts the swimming areas and the areas where power boats are coming in and out. That is very wise. There are also lots of Jet Ski accidents too.

Tingalingle Wed 08-May-13 11:37:00

Yes -- my father was actually trained in rescue with the safety boat but the insurance premiums he would have needed (in case of damage to others) were just too high to contemplate.

(He can't swim. He reckons that makes him a particularly safety-conscious helm!)

specialsubject Wed 08-May-13 12:44:44

tingalingle - what a load of bollocks from the club. Safety boats in trained hands, used properly WITH THE DAMN KILLCORD, not used to show off and properly maintained are fine.

if that was an RYA club they should be reported to the RYA and deregistered.

phantomnamechanger Wed 08-May-13 14:40:22

LittleAbruzzenBear - yes, people who pass driving tests can still have accidents, as can someone who has been driving 30 years with no accidents at all - but I think this case is more like people who pass their driving tests, then think they are invincible and can do whatever speed they like and don't need to wear an uncool seatbelt, because they know what they are doing and it's a lovely day and all's well...

I just HOPE that until the point of the accident they were all enjoying it. I hope to God the wife was not yelling at him to stop being an idiot/slow down sad as she and the children have enough to cope with

wishing them all strength and healing

janey68 Wed 08-May-13 21:52:53

It seems that the prognosis for the boy is better than first expected so that's something to be thankful for. But the whole family will never get over this; such a waste.

edam Wed 08-May-13 22:24:23

There seem to be a few cases where Dads on a day out with their kids in the water have caused a tragedy by taking risks with safety - there was the horrible canoeing case up in Scotland where the kids weren't wearing life jackets (or not the right life jackets, can't recall) and I'm sure there was another. (Obv. the investigation in this case is still happening so I may be entirely wrong about this and it was an equipment failure or something.)

expatinscotland Wed 08-May-13 22:37:52

The case in Scotland was shortly after DD1 died. The two men were used to taking their children out, why not? On that day, one of them had got a Canadian river canoe. They had all been camping the night before and went mackerel fishing in the canoe, but in a sea loch.

The one father had two sons, aged about 3 and 5. His sons died soon after recovery, but his own body has never been recovered.

The other had two daughters. He and the elder one, then age 8, swam the quarter mile to shore. The 5-year-old died in the same unit DD1 did the next day.

None of them were wearing proper life jackets and the water was very, the vessel was not fit for conditions or terrain and the water was very, very cold.

IIRC the inquest has not even begun, much less recorded a verdict but it's likely to be an accident.

Same as this.

This family will never be the same. EVER.

It is horrible to lose a child in such a way.

Having lost one from entirely unavoidable natural causes is utterly awful, and having met other parents whose children died in accidents, their guilt is that much worse, a truly terrible thing.

I feel for this family and hope they get the help they need.

edam Wed 08-May-13 23:17:55

Quite. The agony of losing a child is immense and it's not quantifiable so I sure it's trite to say 'plus the extra guilt if you know you are in some way responsible' but there's something there that I'm having great difficulty in expressing. Probably because it's a daft thing to try to express anyway.

Lazyjaney Wed 08-May-13 23:22:04

I hope that something positive comes out of this, and that is the Powers That Be finally force anyone who wants to use a motorboat or jet ski on open waters to have a licence of some sort.

It won't prevent all accidents, but I think it will have an impact.

expatinscotland Thu 09-May-13 01:09:12

That's why I never said it, edam, and never will. I have friends now, who lost their children through accidents. Accidents. And misadventures and even involuntary manslaughter by reason of insanity.

It is a loss, of the absolute worst kind, and there will needs be things we did not have to experience but others I know have: post-mortem, inquest. Months! These things take months. And still, your husband and child are dead.

Did you know, if you wish to cremate, or your loved one's wish was to cremate, that you cannot if there is need for inquest? You can bury, but not cremate. Did you know, if your loved one has need of post mortem, you cannot register his/her death until it is completed? If there is no need, you are given a little slip of paper, which you have exactly 7 working days under UK law, to take into a council, to record your loved one's death.

There are admin things that go with death, that on top of this woman's 'life-changing' injuries and recoveries this widow will not be able to complete until the inquest is finished and death certificates issued. And that included her husband's life insurance.

I cannot begin to imagine!

No inquest has taken place.

Details will be released then.

Until that point, other than those VERY rightly sharing boat safety, no need to speculate! I am a former climber, who once saw a 23-year-old man bleed his life out of his skull over a mistake and a 70-foot fall. Let it not happen again!

And I appreciate the posts on here from those experienced in water craft and safety, who do not condemn but share and plead for safety. This is so vital, same as it is in climbing and mountaineering!

An 8-year-old girl has lost her life, and her father, and two of the family remain in hospital gravely injured.

Xenia Thu 09-May-13 09:06:10

I don't think extra admin/licences are the answer. He may have had the kill cord - it will have to be found out. It certainly will not bring back the husband or child either way. I am not against children doing risky sports with parents - all in favour, but with sensible precautions. I presume more children are killed by a parent or cross a road every day than in boat accidents. Sadly the most dangerous place for most children is in the family home.

Tingalingle Thu 09-May-13 10:50:09

<Quick reply to SpecialS: no, not RYA, and I tend to agree that a lack of safety boat makes no one safer.>

specialsubject Thu 09-May-13 13:26:13

thanks for that. Hopefully someone will see sense and get the RYA round!

MOSagain Thu 09-May-13 18:50:37

I've thought of this terrible accident a lot since it was first on the news. I can't stop thinking about that little boy and am praying that his injuries are not as bad as first reported. My DS is the same age and I just can't imagine what his poor mother is going through. Life will never be the same for all of them again but I hope that they all recover as best they can.

oldfatandtired1 Thu 09-May-13 20:41:36

I don't know what happened in this terrible accident. But my STBX bought a yacht some years ago (a whole new thread). On the odd occasion the kids and I went we enjoyed going out on the dinghy. I had NO IDEA you were meant to attach the kill cord to your wrist/ankle. I had NO IDEA the dinghy would go round In circles if we fell out. My H is/was a high earner and he 'treated himself' to the boat. No training, no exams passed. I think we were lucky.

edam Thu 09-May-13 22:49:56

sounds like it, Emily. Your post shows exactly why rules and qualifications are required before people are let loose with dangerous equipment that they don't know how to use - worse, don't even realise there's stuff they don't know.

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.

pooka Mon 13-May-13 11:20:17

I don't agree with you T&G with regards to the age of children and ratio with adults. But then that doesn't matter since you can always agree with yourself.

teddyandgypsy Mon 13-May-13 11:21:03

What a strange comment. Where exactly did I say 'any' outing? Where exactly did I refer to sleeping in a house? It is common sense that speeding across the waves in what is effectively an open-topped, open-sided high powered sports car is slightly more dangerous than going to the zoo.

teddyandgypsy Mon 13-May-13 11:21:57

Great lets disagree. That's what it's about - but why the sarcasm? Is this how this board operates?

pooka Mon 13-May-13 11:26:00

!. Show some compassion
2. I don't think you were there so attributing blame is premature and distasteful
3. Look at your posts last night.

snowballinashoebox Mon 13-May-13 11:52:07

I have lost a close family member in a accident at sea. They had every qualification that the RYA could throw at them as well as being a very good sailor.

If I had come across a forum discussing the blame game when, as yet nothing is known I would have been very distressed.

My thoughts to the family and the horror that they are living through.

janey1234 Mon 13-May-13 12:00:48

Totally distasteful thread. I met this man once, and spent an evening out with him and two other friends. All I remember was how much fun he was, and how he glowed when he talked about his wife and children. It was clear to a stranger how much he adored them all. It's an utter tragedy and I can't quite believe how many people are keen to pass judgement on such a recent event which has sadly touched so many lives.

Scruffey Mon 13-May-13 12:13:20

Agree with janey, this thread makes shocking reading.

Teddy your sanctimony is quite staggering and you haven't answered my question. Did you mean to name change when you posted agreeing with yourself? hmm

janey68 Fri 17-May-13 06:55:46

Well, the investigators have confirmed that the kill cord was not being worn. So whoever was driving the boat - in fact I would say both adults on board, because surely even as an adult passenger you should know it should be worn- failed in their responsibility there.

Lazyjaney Fri 17-May-13 07:14:27

"Well, the investigators have confirmed that the kill cord was not being worn"

As every sailor on this thread strongly suspected, I'm sure.

Let's hope this leads to a fairly major revision of the requirements for taking a powerful boat onto the water.

janey68 Fri 17-May-13 07:44:59

Well, I won't hold my breath... It should be compulsory already to wear the safety device because of the risk to swimmers and other people in boats. It's compulsory to wear car seat belts when they are provided and there is a much lower risk of failure to wear one causing harm to others. I hope some of those who've accused people on here of being nasty and judgemental can see how irresponsible it was not to use the 'kill cord'. (Not that I'm condoning anything nasty or distasteful because of course it's a tragedy, and I also didn't like the conjecturiing before the situation was confirmed by investigators. But now it has been confirmed, surely everyone can see this was hugely irresponsible and could have killed many more people?)

MrsSalvoMontalbano Fri 17-May-13 08:25:34

Puzzling that they have bee unable to confirm who was at the helm, surely the surviving adult and children ought to be able to remember that?

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Fri 17-May-13 08:26:34

I don't think it's nasty or distasteful to speculate on non use of safety features. I suspect most sailors on this thread have witnessed dangerous power-fuelled activity on the water.

Lack of seatbelts/ski helmets is also frequently discussed when tragedies occur.

I for one have a deep dislike of speedboats/jetskis and the like. Okay, a windsurfer can run into/over a swimmer, but if it's windy enough to produce a speed likely to cause serious injury, it's very unlikely that there'll be swimmers in the water anyway.

And yes, you can buy a dinghy and sail off with it, but if you capsize/fall overboard it's potentially tragic for you/your passengers, but the vessel is unlikely to career round in circles causing god knows what devastation.

MrsSalvoMontalbano Fri 17-May-13 08:32:15

Shotgun precisely - it is bad enough to do something that endangers yourself - eg not wearing a ski helmet, as that has a knock-on effect on emergency services etc, and quite another to put at others at risk of death or serious injury - eg not using a kill cord or driving whilst drunk - both equally unacceptable behaviours.

I expect they do know who was driving but have decided not to make that public. I don't think today's announcement changes anything. It was an accident. Like nearly any accident it could have been prevented but it wasn't and the results are awful. To stand over the dead bodies of a father and daughter with your arms folded and your lips pursed saying 'See, see it was their fault' IS distasteful.

FasterStronger Fri 17-May-13 08:51:51

what shotgun says.

its is v important to understand what went wrong - so that the accident is not repeated.

the parents were complacent and did not use simple safety equipment. my family has always taken part in part in sports which can kill you if you do it wrong - so you learn what the risks are and manage them using the safety equipment.

you cannot avoid real bad luck but you can avoid being stupid.

compassion is not pretending what the parents here did was ok because the best possible outcome now is every driver who used to not bother with the killcord, remembers this accident and why it happened.

allowing this to repeat itself is distasteful.

specialsubject Fri 17-May-13 09:46:50

it doesn't really help to confirm who was driving (even though the survivors will know) - the driver is either dead or suffering enough. Even if it was one of the kids, the adults bear the responsibility for not attaching the cord.

but this DOES need to be shouted about, as others note maybe it will prevent another accident like this from the 'it won't happen to me' brigade.

I'm afraid that people are often (not always) to blame for what happens to them. If more people realised this we might get less legal action.

MrsSalvoMontalbano Fri 17-May-13 09:58:19

If the driver is dead he cannot be prosecuted. If the driver is alive you cannot just decide 'they have suffered enough', the judicial process has to take it course. Otherwise anyone who causes injury to others , or who breaks the law, would not be prosecuted.

pooka Fri 17-May-13 13:30:29

I agree with northernlurker.

specialsubject Fri 17-May-13 13:54:47

I hadn't thought of that point.

I am guessing, and only guessing, that the dead man was driving. I almost hope so.

so sad, and so utterly avoidable.

teddyandgypsy Fri 17-May-13 16:10:19

The only people passing judgement are the investigators and, as I predicted,they have found that the driver was not attached to the Kill Cord. I don't care how much fun this man was on a night out, he did not ensure the safety of his family. I am wondering who was driving - did he let one of the children have the wheel?

Utmost hypocrisy to condemn my posts. I have nothing but sympathy for the family but facts are facts and this is an all too predictable scenario. Lets hope that it will serve as a warning to others.

teddyandgypsy Fri 17-May-13 16:11:08

For the second time, No. Why would I? And, by the way, I am not the only person pointing out the true facts of this appalling incident

teddyandgypsy Fri 17-May-13 16:13:58

Absolutely right and good to hear a voice of sanity instead of all this sympathetic hypocrisy. Of course it is essential to establish who was driving. Two people died. Additionally, there will be insurance issues and I can guess that this man carried heavy life insurance. The company concerned in any payout will want and need to know the exact causes, including the possibility of any negligence. Brushing what happened under the carpet does not help anybody, BUT being honest and open about what happened may just prevent such a futile tragedy happening again.

I don't think anybody wants this to be covered up. But neither should their private tragedy be salivated over by sanctimonious people who aren't directly involved.

Teddy - why do you always post again agreeing with yourself? hmm

frissonpink Fri 17-May-13 16:52:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TSSDNCOP Fri 17-May-13 16:59:43

Frisson do you know, I believe yours is one of the most spiteful, snide, cruel posts I've ever read on MN.

It probably won't be hard for this poor woman to figure out who you are.

Shame on you.

frissonpink Fri 17-May-13 17:04:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsDoomsPatterson Fri 17-May-13 17:05:30

That poor family, poor, poor family.

What an utterly shit awful thing to happen. How could anyone judge any of them for what happened.

frissonpink Fri 17-May-13 17:05:48

Although in anyone else is offended by my post, I shall ask for it to be deleted.

TSSDNCOP Fri 17-May-13 17:10:54

Good. You might want to try proof reading with yourself as the recipient in future. Horrid.

ItsYonliMe Fri 17-May-13 17:13:16

This whole thread should be deleted. It's dreadful and there by the grace ...
We all take our children in cars - that is by far the most dangerous thing we can ever do. The chances of being killed in a road traffic accident are hundreds and hundreds of times greater than being killed by anything else.

I would like this thread to go away and not cause any more grief to anyone who loves this family - and I'm sure there must be many.

ItsYonliMe Fri 17-May-13 17:18:14

And Frisson and teddy and gypsy who have written such callous posts need to go and think about exactly what they have said. Shame on both of you.

TSSDNCOP Fri 17-May-13 17:21:10

I totally agree Yoni. How can laying out anonymous, judgemental bile help? I'm reporting to MN because it seems to me many posts conflict with the spirit of the site.

5318008 Fri 17-May-13 17:23:16

agreed, it ought to go

(boggling at teddyandgypsy sockpuppet fail not once but TWICE. Rookie error)

God, just read this thread. That poor family, such an awful awful accident and this thread is just horrible and the opposite of what mumsnet is all about. Hopefully MN will delete it.

frissonpink Fri 17-May-13 17:46:58

I don't believe anyone on this thread has written anything callous or spiteful. A lot of people have pointed out how sailing/boating works and to be honest, it is something that a lot of ppl have no knowledge about and there is little/no regulation.

Possibly finding out about the importance of the killcord, and how it works, may mean someone this weekend who normally does away with it, may attach it.

For that, I will take a battering - if it stops any further tragedy.

However, completely agree I should have read through and thought about how it might sound to someone else however. This is a very emotive issue for the family and anyone that knew her. For that I apologise wholeheartedly. Quite often the written word can come across with meaning that is never intended.

This thread may well have run it's course though, you're completely right.

southpacific Fri 17-May-13 18:03:43

I think the posts by frisson were in no way spiteful or snide and could indeed help prevent another such tragedy which it seems clear to me was the intention behind the posts.

janey68 Fri 17-May-13 18:04:07

It's absolutely NOT spiteful or callous to point out that the actions here were irresponsible. If for no other reason, because its purely luck that no other swimmers or sailors were killed or maimed. People clearly need their awareness raised of the issue and the lack of legislation surrounding it.

It's entirely compatible to make that point and to also feel desperately sorry for the family.

janey1234 Fri 17-May-13 18:46:35

Teddy how dare you say that you don't care how much fun this man was on a night out; you know that was not what I meant by my post at all. You'll also notice I talked about how much he talked about his family and clearly utterly adored them, but you helpfully chose to overlook that point.

The poor poor man is dead, as is his daughter and his family members desperately ill. People may or may not be responsible, as is so often the case with accidents (whether in a boat, car, the home - anywhere). Either way it is not our job to judge and pass judgement.

OliviaMMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 17-May-13 19:19:42

Goodness me
Just to reiterate Rowan's post from over a week ago that we would remind you that there is a grieving family behind this story
Thanks kindly
MNHQ

FasterStronger Fri 17-May-13 20:14:05

Yes Olivia, but if no one learns from this, this tragedy will happen again.

Lazyjaney Fri 17-May-13 20:20:58

Deleting this thread is just censoring a basic truth here which needs pointing out if anything is to change, and more lives are not to be lost.

I suspect those of us who are sailors have a better grasp of what happened here, and are possibly more frustrated because we see it repeated every weekend on the water.

MrsDeVere Fri 17-May-13 20:22:19

Nothing good ever comes of these threads.
Regardless of good points made etc.
They can be made elsewhere.
Not here.
I hate these threads.
All of them

Some of you really need to get over yourselves. Seriously - you think you can bitch about this tragedy as much as you like because 'lessons need to be learnt'. Yup, sure. hmm

janey68 Fri 17-May-13 20:38:26

How can anyone possibly say no good can come of these thread? This is a public forum with lots of traffic... It's exactly the sort of place where a safety issue like this needs to be raised and discussed. And I can't see what is 'bitching ' about stating that this is awful for the family involved , but it was avoidable and also could have affected other families too.
The thread is not about trying to make the family feel worse than they already do: tbh I would imagine nothing anyone says is going to make them feel worse than they do

expatinscotland Fri 17-May-13 20:48:14

Poor family. The father and one of the children are dead. The mother has lost one of her legs and the little boy's is mangled. They will grieve this day forever.

janey1234 Fri 17-May-13 21:12:38

Indeed expat. It's horrendous. hmm

We don't need this thread to 'raise awareness'. This tragedy has been national headlines - mostly without the judgemental 'I would have done do much better as a parent' bullshit that mumsnetters are so fond of. There IS bitchiness here - in all the references to the families wealth for a start.
Janey - try telling Mrs Milligan that her suffering was in your view avoidable and see if that does indeed make her feel worse. This thread is for hand rubbing and it's snide and hideous.

That was addressed to janey68 not janey1234 btw.

janey1234 Fri 17-May-13 21:49:00

Well said northern all round. And yes, I hadn't noticed the references to wealth - what have life policies got to do with anything?

lborolass Fri 17-May-13 21:58:17

Tbh I think it's unavoidable that wealth will be mentioned as for most of us having a speedboat is outside our means and a day out of this kind isn't a normal event in our lives. It may well have been quite usual for this poor family but it's not a surprise that it colours peoples views a little.

I'm not saying it's justified but I can see why some posters have brought the subject up.

janey1234 Fri 17-May-13 22:08:51

But talking about him having a "heavy life insurance" policy is totally irrelevant and incredibly poor form.

I imagine the life insurance is 'relevant' from a reporting point of view because it will make idenfying the driver at the time of the accident important.
Horrible horrible incident, dp and I spend a lot of time on boats and this put chills through both of us.

specialsubject Fri 17-May-13 22:29:24

This is not about a witch-hunt for whoever was driving. It is about telling people that not using the killcord every time is risking just this kind of disaster. People do drive powerboats without knowing - I've seen it (and stopped it).

The Marine Accident Investigation Board have published a preliminary document, to get the safety lessons out as soon as possible. I'm not linking as some may not want to read what happened, but here is the RYA advice for anyone who uses or gets into any open power boat.

http://www.rya.org.uk/infoadvice/safteytips/Pages/KillCord.aspx

edam Fri 17-May-13 23:09:26

The thing is, the accident was avoidable and it's important that people realise that yes, they do need to use the killcord properly. You can believe that without blaming the poor family - we are all only human, show me a parent who has never made a mistake and I'll show you a liar etc. etc. etc. Whoever was driving the boat made a terrible mistake, and sadly for them it turned out to be a tragic mistake. No-one thinks they went out that day trying to cause mayhem. But finding the cause of the accident may help avoid future cases.

Publicity is important - the Evening Standard tonight had an interview with a bereaved father whose son was killed in a very similar accident a few years back. 17 year old lad, full of promise, killed because the person driving the speedboat wasn't wearing the killcord. The driver survived - the father didn't blame them, but he did want the law changed and the problem raised so that other tragedies can be prevented.

teddyandgypsy Fri 17-May-13 23:57:49

Why so? Does the truth offend?

janey68 Sat 18-May-13 00:00:13

Erm, northern- as you have addressed me with your criticism, would you kindly point out where I've mentioned wealth?

And as for saying 'try telling mrs milligan the accident was avoidable '- huh?? Of course I'm not going to say that to her personally, I don't need to, she presumably realises that. The point is: this is a really serious issue; many people feel there should be legislation around it not simply guidelines. Thousands of people want to enjoy the seaside, lakes etc as swimmers, kayakers , sailors etc and people who act recklessly endanger them. That may be an unpalatable truth to you, but it doesn't make it any less true.

teddyandgypsy Sat 18-May-13 00:00:31

You need a dictionary and some common sense. Stop being so unsufferably pious and look at the clear facts. Nobody is being callous

Lazyjaney Sat 18-May-13 00:32:37

I think what the non sailors don't really "get" was just how much this was a largely preventable tragedy, and just how much, but for a few other brave people putting their safety at considerable risk, it could have been a lot worse. These boats are very powerful craft.

I think it doesn't do any good to try and hide these things, or else the same will just happen again and again.

Selba Sat 18-May-13 00:58:38

exactly lazyjaney. It's perfectly possible to point that out, without criticism, and with total sympathy for the family.

FairPhyllis Sat 18-May-13 01:22:44

I am a sailor. I see nothing wrong with a thread discussing safety wrt this accident. I think to non-sailors it's looking like people are trying to apportion blame, but I really don't think that's the case. What we do on the water affects the safety of everyone around us as well as ourselves. We have a natural interest in figuring out, without blame, what happened, how we can stop it happening again, and how we can communicate that effectively to inexperienced powerboaters.

I personally want to know how the boat came to be out of control before anyone fell out, in case I ever have to deal with a situation like that myself. But I am not particularly interested pointing the finger at whoever was driving.

I was on the thread about the accident with the canoes in Scotland, and there were a number of people who were grateful to sailors posting for explaining the difference between buoyancy aids and the type of lifejacket that children should wear at sea, and why it is unwise to take a Canadian canoe to sea. So I think there is a place for this kind of thread.

AmFuckedButHopeful Sat 18-May-13 01:44:42

So many of you have made me feel utterly sick. On the one hand, the support I am getting from MN'ers in a specific situation is just staggering (in a good - albeit BEYOND hard to accept - 'helping' way)

Then see THIS thread. And just think, 'Are you MAD? OR just vile?'

Cannot explain how or whay but I knew this man. Did not know his family. But DO know he is DEAD. As is their CHILD. As is blunt fact of what I know re realities of Mrs.M's injuries and son's injuries.

Yet see THIS (& more):

'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.'

Yep - I'm just SURE that Nico thought he was 'too cool' to attach kill-cord. WTAF?

HERE is bottom line. This is an horrific event. A loving Father & his child have DIED. His wife & another child have suffered injuries that WILL change their lives forever. Other children have the trauma of what they went through and saw - AND the loss of their Daddy and sibling - to deal with.

Do NOT peddle horrific and vile comments re 'irresponsibility' and - worse - income/life insurance - under the 'guise' of care for change. As MANIFESTLY that WILL be what (if needed) those in authority WAY above yours, and with a FAR bigger public reach will do.

Show decent compassion. Hold YOUR (intact) family tight. But do NOT defame a DEAD man or lay 'blame' at his feet whilst he still cannot even be buried? And even if it WAS the case he failed to attach kill-cord, that wouldn't have been him (he was in his 50's FFS) trying to 'be cool' - it would (IF that was case), him making an assumptive, and then huge vis consequences, error of judgement.

Nauseated at those at who have posted to the effect of "It was his 'fault' "; had a 'toy' as earned a high salary; his 'insurance' will be high. Shame on you all as we ALL know that, HOWEVER this happened, a family is ripped asunfer; people are DEAD; and NO-ONE involved would have 'deliberately' caused it.

Show me ANY one of YOU that has not made an error of judgement either per se or as a parent - and I'll show you a liar.

VILE.

AmFuckedButHopeful Sat 18-May-13 01:46:42

* asunder

janey68 Sat 18-May-13 07:34:20

Fairphylllis- that's a very good point: I too remember the thread about the canoe tragedy. What emerged from fhat case is that the survivors themselves didn't know the difference between life jackets and bouyancy aids, never mind the general public. As I recall there were a great many grateful people on that thread who weren't aware of the potential dangers - I certainly didn't know just how unstable that particular type of canoe was and that it could capsize easily and would be impossible for an adult thrown in the water to turn back over.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with highlighting the essential lessons to be learned, and unfortunately it often seems to take a real life high profile tragedy like this for people to really 'get it'.
I'd

If someone started a thread on the importance of safety devices, many people wouldn't see the importance, but in this context of a major incident they can.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Sat 18-May-13 08:46:30

Do any of you remember the 'clunk, click' campaign run in the seventies to encourage people to use safety belts? (Sadly the unspeakable Jimmy Saville fronted it but the message remains vital). I'm old enough to remember when it ws perfectly legal to drive off with your children in your car with not one of you strapped in. My father had a car for a short time when I was little and it didn't even have seatbelts - thank God he sold it.

Real examples of tragedies would be used in these ads, to drive home the point about what could happen if you didn't 'belt up.' No doubt this was horribly painful if you'd lost someone in one of these accidents, but I wonder how many of us wouldn't be here today if the law hadn't been changed - and it took years of campaigning before it was afair.

I'd repeat the view that the aim is not to apportion blame or censure, but to stress the importance of using the safety features available, and treating very powerful and potentially damaging machines with respect and caution I'd ban them from using speed in harbours/near beaches myself, but that's a whole other thread.

I hope my posts re insurance hasn't been misunderstood. I absolutely am not advocating a witch hunt, but from a news reporting point of view there has been a dramatic incident and so naturally people want to know what happened. But rather than speculate or assume,it will be important for the MAIB and presumably an inquest to establish who was driving and what exactly happened, which may also be a central element of any insurance claim dispute, that's all.

I sincerely hope for all this family has been through that there are not now low legal proceedings for them to endure.

I think there is a place for some discussion of the issue this story raised - if for nothing else it is very easy to hire small motorboat I some areas of the country and if more people are aware of the danger from propellers than that is worthwhile. But there is no place for some of the emotive language used here.

Lazyjaney Sat 18-May-13 09:42:06

"Do NOT peddle horrific and vile comments re 'irresponsibility' and - worse - income/life insurance - under the 'guise' of care for change. As MANIFESTLY that WILL be what (if needed) those in authority WAY above yours, and with a FAR bigger public reach will do"

There may be a misunderstanding going on here. On a boat, the captain is responsible for the vessel and the crew, so it is perfectly reasonable to talk of irresponsibility given the kill cord not being worn. And this will impact insurance. These are neutral facts.

Also we need to draw lessons from this, and I refuse to be told to shut up about saying that.

The ability to rent or buy powerful motorboats with little or no training has been a rising problem over the last decade or so as their numbers increase. It is unthinkable to use powerful cars and planes without training and licencing, and you can't rent a sailing boat without qualifications either. To many sailors the only surprise is this sort of thing hasn't happened more often.

Well Janey you did mention being able to afford and moor a boat or 'toy' like this. The comment actually addressed to you didn't refer to that though. I was asking if you would subject Mrs Milligan to your views and of course the answer was no - so why lay in to her family's choices and situation on line? If you want to campaign for legistlation please do so. And perhaps you could share with us the many steps you've taken along that path before this tragedy too? The problem with this thread is that attaches a need for greater safety to one familiy's hideous loss.

janey68 Sat 18-May-13 10:58:06

Eh? Are you seriously setting yourself up as some kind of moral arbiter of what people write on a public forum?

I have certainly never stated that the milligan family treated their power boat as an expensive toy. I have no idea of their motivation for buying one and indeed I don't know the family. But there are many people who do view jet skis, speed boats (as well as sports cars etc) as toys and have an irresponsible attitude towards them and a disregard for others safety.

And the fact remains that the title of this section is 'in the news' and therefore items in the news will be discussed. And actually saying 'this isn't the place, it should just be discussed in the newspapers' is missing the point. The story made news for a day or two, but it wasn't front page (or at least not in the paper I read) and at that point the safety features barely got a mention: the focus was on the incident itself and the heroic action of the man who risked his life to prevent further deaths. I would say about 99% of discussion about safety devices and how their use is essential in preventing further tragedy has come not from the newspapers (which have now rightly moved on to other news) but from forums such as this.

It is not heaping blame onto this individual family to simply state facts. The safety device in the boat was not used. They know that; we know that, it's hardly contributing to their tragedy that other people want to discuss the importance of getting safety messages out there. Indeed, ime where a family has experienced first hand an avoidable tragedy they very often want others to learn from it.

janey68 Sat 18-May-13 11:17:24

Ps- and many of us don't sign up to this sanctimonious 'you're only allowed to express a view if you can provide cast iron evidence of what you've done with regard to power boat safety before 5th May'

Bloody hell. I have a family. We often go to the beach in summer. I have an interest in my children's safety when they are swimming and sailing. Frankly all of us are entitled to express our views on safety issues. We're not only 'allowed' to do it if we meet some specification dreamt up by individual MNers!

FairPhyllis Sat 18-May-13 11:19:58

Discussions like this are important. It's obvious from this thread and the one about the canoes in Scotland that the general public - who might well take it into their heads to do some casual boating one day - are not very well informed about basic water safety. We have had someone on here jumping to conclusions and talking about kill cords on dinghys confused - they don't have them - and an awful lot of people generally still don't understand the difference between a lifejacket and a buoyancy aid.

Legislation is not necessarily part of the answer. A better informed public certainly is, and that starts with discussions like these. The Padstow accident and the Scottish accident have in common that they were both tragedies caused by, from a sailor's POV, fairly basic errors of judgement. All activities on the water carry some kind of risk - but imo in both cases poor decisions brought a much higher level of risk into play, and people sadly paid for that with their lives.

I'm not interested in blaming the individuals involved because they have already been punished enough. But if you can't discuss marine safety in the light of an accident like this, when can you talk about it?

ItsYonliMe Sat 18-May-13 11:55:16

Phyllis asks where to talk about marine safety and I'll answer. It's certainly not on a thread like this. If you want to highlight a safety issue start a new thread and don't piggyback onto a tragedy such as this.

There are safety issues everywhere in life. I see them and often cringe. Bloody talking on mobile phones while driving is way up there in the "potential murderer" camp along with imbeciles that drink then drive.

If you want to promote safety then I suggest you take it to where there is a wider audience. Doing that here is simply cruel.

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

edam Sat 18-May-13 12:10:58

This is exactly the right place to discuss safety.

OK, you are sensitive about it because you know the family but honestly, are you unable to separate 'discussion of the causes is important so that other people can be aware and avoid them' and 'stop being so mean to the poor family'?

janey68 Sat 18-May-13 12:28:18

This is precisely where there is a broad demographic and plenty of people with young families who are invested in safety issues. Some people seem to assume that it's only power boat enthusiasts who are invested... No it's not- it's anyone with a family who enjoy the sea side, swimming etc. I am highly unlikely to ever own or hire a speed boat. However I do swim in the sea, as do my children, DH is a surfer and ds is fast following in his footsteps. I damn well want issues like this highlighted to a wide audience- not simply those who will take the time and effort to delve into marine safety reports, because frankly, those who bother to do that are more likely to be safety conscious anyway. It's the people who arent as clued up- who might hire a boat, or stick on a piece of equipment without knowing if its a bouyancy aid or lifejacket who do need to know

ItsYonliMe Sat 18-May-13 12:29:52

So why the fuck don't we have threads here every week telling people not to drink and drive. That happens every friggin day of the year. The sad thing is that it happens so often that we have almost become immune to it.

I wonder if any of you remember being a child in the 60s. There were government ads about dropping litter, being able to swim, being able to drive etc etc. I still remember those.

The most danger we can ever put our children in is driving them in a car. We can't get that safety message across - and the Government doesn't seem to be interested. The proof - look at the amount of imbecile people still texting and looking at the phones while driving. Read about the number of people being caught drink driving.

But please, please, don't highlight an utterly heartbreaking, life-destroying situation by trying to jump on the "HSE" bandwagon.

I would hope that if you feel really strongly enough about this tragic accident that it needs promoting then you start your own thread warning people.

I agree. This thread is 'In the News' because the tragedy was in the news. It's not the place to bang on about how avoidable it was - unless you actually want to appear callous.

janey68 Sat 18-May-13 12:54:46

Why the fuck aren't threads started about drink driving every frigging week?
Start them then.
I won't stop you- I wouldn't dream of trying to control a public forum by criticising you for doing so.

A small minority on here are determined to believe the focus here is one particular family. It isn't. It's a bigger issue than that.

janey68 Sat 18-May-13 13:13:51

Anyway- here's the thing. If MNHQ believe its best to give this thread another title, such as 'marine safety' or whatever, then I'm sure they can find a way of doing that. And as always, posts which don't comply with their rules will be deleted. But I am happy to leave it to them to manage the forum; it becomes a nonsense (whatever the issue under discussion ) when individuals try to dictate to other posters

janey1234 Sat 18-May-13 13:20:59

Janey you say this is about more than just this particular family but the thread is about precisely that. All we are asking for is to distance the discussion from this poor family - perhaps on a new thread in a different section, with a different title.

janey68 Sat 18-May-13 13:32:38

It started as a thread focusing on a specific incident but discussion has broadened considerably since then. As I say, I'm sure MNHQ have the wherewithal to rename the thread or create a new one from after the first few posts onwards if they agree with you

Selba Sat 18-May-13 14:47:25

janey68 I completely agree. I for one have increased my awareness of powerboat safety ( it's about to be relevant to me) because of this thread.

I hate when people here try to dictate the way a discussion goes or try to attribute motives to others' contributions that just aren't there.

ItsYonliMe Sat 18-May-13 15:04:01

You know what. I reckon it's all down to our upbringing.

You see, this topic was started and focused on an imaginable tragedy. Most people come on to this topic to sort of "give respects" in the IT age that we live in. We come on here to, in a very small way, "grieve" and when we can help to knit wooly blankets and give financial support too sometimes.

Then there are people who come on here to disrupt and stop the flow of caring and kindness.

If only those people who are so passionate about their cause would just start their own thread then we might pay attention. I'm sure they have a case to promote however on this thread is not the place.

The most respectful thing that could happen now is if this thread would just stop. I'm not coming back here - I've had my say.

MrsDeVere Sat 18-May-13 15:46:06

It is entirely possible to discuss a subject in a more abstract manner.
If people are so exercised about this subject why wait until a family have been devastated before discussing it?

It is a valid subject for discussion.

And yes, you get to write what you want on on an open forum.
But so do I. And I will continue to insist that threads like this are unnecessary, unhelpful and very, very likely to hurt the people involved.

Accidents, murder, illness can happen to any family. Sit back and imagine how you would feel having your personal tragedy pulled apart and speculated about by strangers with the luxury of distance.

And please, no-one come out with that utter crap that 'I expect they will have better things to do than worry about looking at the internet' You are WRONG.

Bereaved families DO look at these things. They hurt. More than you can possibly imagine. I have witnessed the aftermath many, many times.

Talk about marine safety by all means. Start a campaign if you want. Give advice, talk about your experiences but in my opinion you should leave this family out of it.

They do not deserve the extra pain this sort of chatter causes.

Like it or not.

Lazyjaney Sat 18-May-13 17:35:26

"Accidents, murder, illness can happen to any family. Sit back and imagine how you would feel having your personal tragedy pulled apart and speculated about by strangers with the luxury of distance."

Actually, out of respect for the family, there has been very little speculation on this thread. I suspect if all the sailors on this thread wrote down what they do strongly suspect happened, it would send you into orbit.

And IMO this In The News thread is about more than one family now, so trying to close down the conversation is unreasonable.

MrsDeVere Sat 18-May-13 17:37:20

Yes it would be.
But I am not doing that.

Oh please! There is no respect for the family from some of the posters on this thread. It's not 'respect' which has kept them from speculating. It's the fact that it will be deleted - as has already happened.

JulieMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 18-May-13 18:41:09

Just to reiterate Rowan's post from over a week ago and Olivia's post from last night;

we would remind you that there is a grieving family behind this story
Thanks kindly
MNHQ

teddyandgypsy Sat 18-May-13 19:06:07

Not much common sense on here sometimes. Who said a life policy was about wealth? Most men with families to provide for have them as standard. Similarly, men in high powered positions often have what is called Key Man insurance. However tragic the circumstances, insurers do not pay out willy nilly, hence my point about the facts surrounding the death needing to be checked.

teddyandgypsy Sat 18-May-13 19:09:49

Well said. All I, and others, have done is raise entirely reasonable factual points against a tide of sentiment. I have some nautical knowlege, but have nevertheless refrained from speculating on what I assume may have happened. However, it would be nice to think that posters on this thread are intelligent enough to want a proper discussion rather than waves of faux love. As one poster has already said, it may be that many holidaymakers reading this will take greater precautions this summer if they take to the water. Time for people to get over their piety and stop with the insinuations.

Third times a charm eh Teddy? Or not. Seriously do you want somebody to talk you through namechanging?

By a tide of sentment you mean compassion for the bereaved? I'll happily put my hand up to that.

teddyandgypsy Sat 18-May-13 19:15:31

The only thing vile here is your post. Acquaintance with the Milligan family does not give you a right to try to shut down what has been a very balanced discussion with some really helpful knowlege being imparted from the sailors in the community. Nor does it give you right to judge other people who wish to have this discussion. I have not seen one post that has offered anything other than the utmost sympathy for the family involved. This is a valid safety topic that needs to be discussed.

teddyandgypsy Sat 18-May-13 19:16:40

I'm sorry. I don't understand a word of your message. Am interested why you keep picking on me though, when dozens of others are saying the same thing. Don't worry about it.

teddyandgypsy Sat 18-May-13 19:21:41

No, it isn't our job to pass judgement - as so many posters on here are doing against those who are trying to get the safety issues discussed. That IS our job. I for one don't wanting to be swimming in Cornwall this year when some out of control speedboat comes powering towards me.

Try this - when you keep posting agreeing with yourself you look really daft and like you were planning to namechange and engineer agreement with yourself. Is that the impression you intended to give?

janey1234 Sat 18-May-13 19:35:18

To my mind northern the only good thing about this thread is the silent chuckle I have every time teddy has a name change fail.

Teddy - speculating on life insurance policies is nothing to do with promoting public safety and to my mind only shows a grisly fascination with other people's sorrow. And we're not showing faux love - it's showing respect, sorrow, sympathy and empathy: traits many people on this thread don't seem to have much of.

pooka Sat 18-May-13 19:37:38

It's really intriguing me - the posting style where you post something, and then instantly post agreeing with yourself.

pooka Sat 18-May-13 19:38:22

I couldn't agree more - it is a very interesting posting style.

grin

janey1234 Sat 18-May-13 19:47:56

grin

janey68 Sat 18-May-13 20:26:43

Discussion about a hypothetical insurance policy connected to a specific family is distasteful and unecessary.
Discussion about the fact that from all the evidence, this was an avoidable tragedy is absolutely not.

teddyandgypsy Sat 18-May-13 23:52:11

This is so interesting. Apologies, by the way, for the fact that I appear to have been replying to myself (new to this forum), but I haven't had any name changes so I don't know what that's about. I post under one name only.

What intrigues me is the condemnatory nature of so many posters who wish to shut down debate about safety on the water. Why would that be? And now we've got this stuff about the hypothetical insurance policy. I think it may have been me who first mentioned insurance and now it seems to have taken on a life of its own.

I like facts and logic and my point therefore was that the investigation would necessarily have to cover all angles, and not just from a health and safety perspective. Two people have died and it is the law of the land that there is an inquest which will establish how they met their deaths. Equally, and perfectly properly, insurance assessors will also conduct a full and thorough investigation and how this can be construed as a bad taste remark is beyond me. The boat would have been insured as would the life of Mr Milligan - indeed it would be strange if it were not. So, guys, what can possibly be the problem with that, what possesses any poster to try and make something untoward about the fact that a person would carry insurance?

The facts will out and they will be what they are, however much people may wish they were otherwise. This was a truly terrible tragedy involving hideous human suffering, both now and for the future. It is right and proper and a fitting memorial that the authorities establish the cause so that others may not have to suffer similarly.

MrsSalvoMontalbano Sun 19-May-13 07:59:05

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scaevola Sun 19-May-13 08:04:35

I think the point about lack of life jackets is like lack of seat belts, and dangerous driving being dangerous driving, whether on land or water, is well made. And additionally reprehensible in crowded areas, especially those where children congregate.

Where does the no life jackets come from? Are life jackets protection against a propeller now then too?
The obsession some posters have with legal process is truly bizarre.

MrsSalvoMontalbano Sun 19-May-13 09:55:32

The lifejackets are an essential safety matter. Luckily in this incident there were heroic people around who were prepared to put themselves into real danger to rescue the children in the water. If there had not been, or if they had had had to wait for the emergency services to be called and arrive,then how long would the children have survived even if they did not have propeller injuries? If the children were not wearing life jacket or buoyancy aids, this is just as negligent as the lack of the kill-cord, both the adults in the boat had the responsibility of ensuring they were worn, and it needs to be publicised to avoid future incidents of this type.

Yes thanks I do understand what a lifejacket is for. My question is how do you know they weren't being worn? Why are you even speculating about that?

Lazyjaney Sun 19-May-13 10:13:32

^^

It must surely have occurred to even you that if the kill cord wasn't been use, and for the event to unfold as it did, there would have also been other lapses.

Kiriwawa Wed 22-May-13 16:04:29

Petition to make using kill cords mandatory (at present it's 'good practice' but not obligatory)

MrsSalvoMontalbano Wed 22-May-13 17:10:30

Kirwawa - thanks, signed

teddyandgypsy Fri 31-May-13 14:46:01

We simply do not know if the family were wearing life jackets. However, I can understand the speculation because the police have stated that six lifebelts have been found but not that they were wearing them.

I see that the inquest was adjourned for further evidence which sounds sensible. However, one can pick up just how dreadful were the injuries from what was said. Why of why did this have to happen? Is it really so onerous to attach a simple safety cord? Should highly powered boats be driven at high speed with four children, apparently unsecured?

Let us hope that the laws will be changed for the future protection of others, not least bathers and canoeists enjoying more peaceful forms of relaxation.

ItsYonliMe Fri 31-May-13 15:36:46

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CashmereHoodlum Fri 31-May-13 15:40:44

I thought inquests were always opened and adjourned confused

janey1234 Fri 31-May-13 16:01:53

You really, really are teddy.
Please just stop it, leave it alone.

CatherineofMumbles Fri 31-May-13 16:16:36

I think inquests usually are opened, so there can be a funeral, and then adjourned so the full facts can be established. It may be that the poor child who died drowned because she was not wearing a life jacket - if so that will be presumably part of the findings, and hopefully published to avoid further similar tragedies in this and future summers.

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

CatherineofMumbles Fri 31-May-13 17:20:05

Errr... not sure that this has the remotest connection with April Jones...??? Why try to connect confused

CashmereHoodlum Fri 31-May-13 17:36:34

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

Because, Catherine, I've posted on two threads recently with exactly the same tone. Both concern parents who have lost a child. I saw another like this on netmums too - though that was pulled eventually. There is no connection except in the behaviour of the posters.

MrsDeVere Fri 31-May-13 19:35:55

There are ones like this on NMs on a regular basis. EVERY time a child dies in fact.
I know because I have been a member since very shortly after my DD's death.

If a child dies in an accident or is murdered or even if they die from illness someone will start a 'I am not being funny but.....' thread.

Its a fucking disgrace.

I coulcn't believe the one I saw Mrsdv. It was about that child who drowned in Egypt and a mum who had lost her child to a carbon monoxide tent incident came on and said that she'd read a similar slagging off of her and how awful it was - and people still kept on. Morons.

MrsDeVere Sat 01-Jun-13 10:10:29

I know that lady. sad
TBH when something hits the news I will go on to NM and see what vile crap they are spewing.
It happens every time.

And they are allowed to get away with it. However if I or anyone else pulls someone up on a post we are likely to get deleted.

Because of our meanness.

specialsubject Sat 01-Jun-13 20:43:10

I don't see any connection between this and the April Jones case.
She was deliberately murdered by a man determined to find a victim.

the people who died in this ACCIDENT were not. When there are ACCIDENTS or illness, sometimes something done differently might have resulted in a different outcome. That's why there is an investigation.

Perhaps that investigation could reduce the number of future tragedies. As a powerboat user I will want to see the result of the investigation to see if there is anything I could do differently. (This is why marine accident investigations have to be read by those involved in similar activities)

none of this makes the event any less sad or horrific.

CatherineofMumbles Sun 02-Jun-13 06:01:21

specialsubject I agree - there is no earthly reason to try to make any link with April Jones confused, or indeed to invoke other forums - obviously elsewhere on the net there will be forums where invidious this are said about all sorts of subjects - this place is not one of them.
I have seen nothing on this thread other than sympathy for the innocent victims, (including the brave men who risked their own lives to help) and a desire for lessons to be learned to avoid similar or worse incidents in the future. This is the beginning of summer, and numerous people will be out in powercraft, and need to be aware of the horrific consequences of not using the kill cords, and not insisting that lifejackets are worn. the people involved in that incident already know those, the point is top get the message across to those who don't.

janey68 Sun 02-Jun-13 08:48:04

Rational and sensitive posts, specialsubject and Catherineofmumbles.

I also don't see the need to bring up a murder victim on this thread. This is an entirely different circumstance.

Obviously the death of any child whether through illness, accident or crime is a tragedy, but it doesn't mean you can make a blanket comparison.

What has shocked so many people about this case is that a)it was easily avoidable and b) it potentially endangered the lives of many more people.

I also think if this was some yob driving around on a Friday night, having had a couple of drinks, not paying due care and attention and not driving with due regard for his own passengers or other road users, there would actually be far less sympathy shown than there has on here. Which does make me a bit hmm at whether different rules apply when it's a well off middle class family involved

Ultimately, even though its not actually illegal to drive a power boat without using the kill cord, it is obviously a very risky thing to do and shows a disregard for other people. It's vitally important that this fact is highlighted: as others say, the power boats are out in force this time of year, as are bathers and sailors.

Telling it straight does not in any way detract from the awfulness for the family involved; it's terrible for them

ItsYonliMe Sun 02-Jun-13 12:18:37

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janey68 Sun 02-Jun-13 12:35:28

Useful point of view ^

Royalmailer Sun 02-Jun-13 13:05:15

It was a tragic accident, yes- but a highly preventable tragic accident. Every motorised water vehicle has a safety feature designed to prevent this exact incident.

I don't think that pointing this out is wrong. I hope it prevents future accidents.

CatherineofMumbles Sun 02-Jun-13 14:30:04

indeed janey and Royalmailer - if a similar accident had happened a few weeks before, and we had discussed it here, and the people in the Padstow incident had seen it & taken heed, it could have prevented their own sad loss. It is vitally important the facts are widely known, and surely the family concerned would be first to want to avoid anyone else suffering the same situation??? No-one on here is suggesting or condoning any personal attacks on the bereaved family - obviously not. If other forums are, that is shocking - so go and berate them - not this one.

janey1234 Sun 02-Jun-13 15:20:55

Mumbles - I think you've missed stuff from earlier in the thread that was incredibly offensive and has since been deleted by MNHQ. I don't want to repeat it but it was enough to offend and upset me and totally unjustified and abhorrent.

Not sure that comparing him (who I have met incidentally) to a drunken driver is helpful either tbh. That is illegal, what they did wasn't (whether it should be is another matter I understand).

If it had happened and if we had talked about and if they had seen it hmm By that logic you can justify as much grousing as you want.
I think picking over the bones of somebody's tragedy in the name of 'learning lessons' is a necessary task that our society has a legal framework to achieve. Doing it over and above that - as some of you are so keen to do is distasteful. There is no justifucation for it and on this thread and all the others like it you run the risk of really, really hurting bereaved people. Not really worth the kick of super smugness is it?

janey68 Sun 02-Jun-13 17:21:11

I disagree: it's not just a case of if that particular family had read about it. The point is, it's an issue which deserves to be highlighted and discussed. A legal framework is all very well for the technicalities of the investigation, but important safety messages dont work their way into the public consciousness through coroners reports; they are absorbed through the media. The issue about bouyancy aids and lifejackets discussed earlier was a prime example. Many people who didn't realise these are different to each other and that one may save a life where the other wont, learned about it from sites such as this one.

I am totally against offensive posts which are simply trying to attack the family and quite rightly they are deleted, but it's not for anyone else to police the thread just because they don't like the facts being highlighted.

CatherineofMumbles Sun 02-Jun-13 19:00:02

This afternoon on the river at Richmond I saw a large motorboat - think - cabin etc - with one man at the helm, safely in the cockpit , another one also safely at the back. At the front, and hanging over the rail shock were several children, maybe aged from about 7/8 upwards. None wearing lifebelts - doubtless they were/are good swimmers and did not think it necessary on a warm sunny day on a well-populated river. Looked like a fun outing, dads and kids, (saw no women)but what they were doing was very dangerous, if one of the children had slipped and fallen, they would have been run over by their own boat before it could stop.
I presume they were all lucky, and hope no accident occurred, but those people clearly had no idea what they were doing - so clearly safety messages need to hollered loud and clear, so that Mumsnetters at least will know to use commonsense when on the water, even if it does seem like spoilsporting...

Lazyjaney Mon 03-Jun-13 01:48:32

"^^^^^^^I fucking give up. NorthernLurker is correct. A thread like this does bring out the morons"

Always amuses me that the most offended are often the most offensive.

I can only assume there are some people who still believe all things are fate or the will of God etc and never think about how to make it better next time.

cory Mon 03-Jun-13 16:10:57

So how come we aren't doing this level of picking over and analysing and trying to assign blame every time there is a car accident resulting in several deaths? Why aren't we calling for laws making it illegal to drive when there is ice on the road or the visibility is poor?

HesterShaw Mon 03-Jun-13 16:38:28

I can hardly believe reading the last page or so, the direction this thread has taken shock

However I work in boats and in boating and I know as sure as I know anything that there needs to be far more awareness of boat safety. From what I have seen this week, the message is still not getting through. I have no comment about the tragedy in Padstow except to say it has given me nightmares, so God knows what the family is going through.

To state the obvious, boats are great fun but they can be very dangerous. Lifejackets (not buoyancy aids) are a must for all on board, whether or not they think they can swim. Speed limits must be adhered to, especially in dynamic harbour environments, where vessels may be going on and off moorings, there may be children dinghy sailing, there may be kayakers and there may be swimmers, as well as vessels being launched and recovered on slipways. Certain wind directions are far more likely to make it rough/choppy than others, especially at certain states of tide. Going over someone's wake at top speed can result in spinal injury, even if the everyone on board is safely in their seats (two years ago I witnessed this exact thing - the guy is still unable to walk). It takes a surprisingly small amount of water to sink a small speedboat (not a RIB) - again, I saw this three weeks ago, and those on board were not wearing lifejackets. Three days ago I saw a young guy driving a beaten up old speedboat through the harbour gaps and round the corner of the harbour wall at at least 20 knots - it was only incredible luck that he didn't drive straight into something/someone and kill people.

People need to think. Statistically, you are less likely to be in a boating accident than a car accident, but those that happen often have terrible consequences.

teddyandgypsy Thu 06-Jun-13 14:59:14

What a great post, but then you have been the voice of sanity throughout. I have tried to post similar points but the howls of rage that go up are really offputting. Nothing I have said has been in any way offensive, rather I am entirely sympathetic to the family involved. However, this is an accident which should never have happened and it is right and proper that it be discussed. I had thought that this forum would be full of articulate people willing and able to do that in a thoughtful manner - how wrong I was. What has been most enlightening is that those posters complaining about those of us willing to discuss hard facts is the way they resort to name calling (moron is only the lates) all in the name of posting nicely!

Extraordinary.

Maybe Amanda Holden was right about Mumsnet after all. It looks after its own.

TheLateMrsLizCromwell Sun 22-Jun-14 16:00:29

Only resurrecting this because I saw today that Victoria Milligan has done enormous amounts to raise money for charities, in what must have been the most unbelievably awful year for her. While grieving for her husband and child she has nevertheless been tireless in her efforts to help others. I am in awe of her courage and dignity.

lalalonglegs Sun 22-Jun-14 18:07:20

Yes, I heard her speaking on R4, with great sadness and articulacy but entirely without self-pity. To have lost everything she has in such an arbitrary way but to come out the other side is humbling.

Retropear Sun 22-Jun-14 19:38:56

I saw that too,what an amazing woman.

specialsubject Mon 23-Jun-14 12:16:45

I also saw this article, cannot imagine what Victoria Milligan has gone through, and take my hat off to her for her efforts and successes since.

For info, the full report is on the Marine Accident Investigation Board site, issued since this thread was last active.

phantomnamechanger Thu 26-Jun-14 17:40:53

what an amazing inspiring woman. I wish her and her children all the best for their futures.

DontGotoRoehampton Sun 09-Nov-14 17:08:10

Saw today an incredibly brave article by Victoria Milligan in the Sunday Times. The inquest is opening tomorrow into the death of her DH and DD.
Feel so sad for her, and hope she gets plenty of support from her friends and family.

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