TV executive Nick Milligan and his daughter were killed during a speedboat accident last year in Cornwall
A television executive and his eight-year-old daughter were killed in a speedboat accident after he attempted to complete a tight, high-speed turn, concludes an official investigation.
The incident, which happened in May last year, saw the family of six thrown into the water from their 8m Cobra RIB after Mr Milligan reached across his wife, who was driving at the time, to make the manoeuver.
Victoria Milligan was not wearing a kill cord, meaning the speedboat continued to circle at full power and struck several members of the family.
Mr Milligan and his daughter Emily were killed during the tragic accident, while his wife and four-year-old son Kit both suffered “life-changing injuries”.
“The kill cord was probably not attached because the day’s activities were almost at an end and her [Victoria Milligan] intention had been to return, at a moderate speed, to the boat’s mooring a few hundred metres away”, said the report by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch.
However, Mr Milligan suggested the family go for another run along the estuary, during which the accident occurred.
The report continued: “The turn to starboard which led to the ejection was initiated by Mrs Milligan, but Mr Milligan almost immediately reached across his wife and took control of the helm with his right hand and grasped the throttle with his left.
It is likely that he did this because he thought that a tighter turn to starboard was required to keep Milly clear of the beach on the Padstow side of the estuary.”
The family subsequently lost control of the RIB and all six of them fell into the estuary.
Mr and Mrs Milligan had both undertaken RYA powerboat training but the report found that they were not aware of the dangers associated with high-speed turns and unprepared for the boat’s reaction to such a manoeuver.
Recommendations have been made to the RYA and manufacturer APV Marine to warn speedboat users of the potential hazards of high power turns.