Jacob Nicol was working as an engineer on the superyacht Kibo when a fender hook fell on his head, pushing him overboard. After battling for his life for two years, the engineer has passed away

20 June 

Jacob Nicol, 24, who was working as an engineer on Russian billionaire Alexander Mamut’s superyacht Kibo when he was hit on the head by a 20kg hook and fell into the sea, has passed away.

The accident happened in May 2015 and left Nicol with severe brain damage and in need of constant care.

The 24 year-old was in a coma for 10 days at the Son Espases Hospital in Palma before being flown back to the UK.

He recently had been moved Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, after first being treated at the city’s Hunters Moor Neurological Rehabilitation Centre and at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.

The engineer died of pneumonia on Wednesday 7 June. His death was caused by lack of movement due to his brain injury.

Nicol’s family, who run a Facebook page called Justice for Jacob, posted on the social media website:

“Our beautiful Jacob has sadly passed away. A young, bright, intelligent, kind soul has left us after an excruciating 2 years. He showed strength in the hardest of trials. He showed determination during the most strenuous of times. He fought for his life. Jacob can now rest in peace knowing he tried his best, knowing that he has shown what resilience is, knowing that he has left a forever lasting impression on those that have known him personally and those that have followed his journey. That includes every supporter reading this far and wide. We would like to thank everyone for all the support that has been shared over the past couple of years. Let’s grieve the lose an amazing and inspirational young man. In time we will seek Justice for Jacob. We want to respect Jacob and the funeral that he will have without inflicting it with the negative vibes regarding those who are responsible for what has happened. Share your memories, talk about the good things and have a drink for him. Jamesons and lemonade if you will. Love the Ni Col family xxx”.

Last year, Jacob’s friend and crew mate, Courtney Shore, set up a Go Fund Me page to raise money for medical equipment.

30 June 2016

Third assistant engineer, Jacob Nicol was cleaning the side of the superyacht, Kibo in May last year when the accident happened.

It is believed the fender hook holding him in position failed. He was hit on the head by the 20 kilogram hook before falling into the sea.

At the time, Nicol was not wearing a life jacket or buoyancy aid. There was also no life line connecting him to a static section of the yacht.

As a result of the accident, the 23-year-old, from St Austell, Cornwall, has been left with severe brain damage and needs constant care.

Now one of his fellow crew mates, Courtney Shore, who has known Nicol since college, is raising money to help pay for new equipment to help the engineer communicate.

Jacob Nicol and Courtney Shore

Jacob Nicol and Courtney Shore. Credit: Trek for Nicol/Go Fund Me


Nicol is already communicating with his family using a clicker, but the eye gaze technology is much more advanced.

“From day one, we were told Jacob would never make the progression which has has today. He is now able to answer questions correctly by using a clicker, communicate with his eyes, move parts of his body very slowly and make noises,” explained 22-year-old Shore.

“He is currently in a slow stream rehab unit but has only been given funding for 90 days. They have been renting ‘eye gaze’ equipment for Jacob which has been very effective and allows him the opportunity to communicate what he needs and when he is in pain,” she continued.

“The eye gaze system cost around £7000 and would be such a life changing tool for Nicol and his family,” explained Shore, who is also from Cornwall.

She plans to trek the Salkantay Route to Machu Picchu in Peru to try to raise the £7,000 needed to buy the equipment.

Shore will be paying for the trek and the flights herself. She says all the money raised on her Go Fund Me page will go directly towards the eye gaze system

Nicol has never received compensation for the life changing accident on board Kibo, which is reported to belong to Russian billionaire, Alexander Mamut.

Mamut, who is close friends with Roman Abramvich, was not on board the yacht when Nicol’s accident happened.

An investigation into what happened is still ongoing.