Accidental Deaths: Padstow Speedboat Inquest

Nick and Emily Milligan died in may 2013 after being hit by their speedboat in the Camel Estuary at Padstow.

A jury of seven men and five women returned verdicts that both 51 year old Nick and 8 year old Emily died as a result of an accident.

On May 5th 2013, the family of 6 had been on their boat in the Camel Estuary at Padstow. Mr Milligan had removed the kill cord to play with the children, when his wife Victoria took control of the boat.

She said she was driving it very slowly, and had not put on the kill cord- a safety device which cuts the boats engine in an emergency- because she assumed her husband was coming back to the controls.

Nick Milligan then turned the boat and put up the throttle, causing it to jerk and the family were thrown overboard.

The boat continued to circle the family, out of control. The boat hit the family, killing Nick and Emily, Mrs Milligan lost the lower part of her leg, the couples son Kit, who was then 4 suffered serious injuries to his leg. Their other two daughters Olivia and Amber suffered minor injuries.

Cornwall Coroner Dr Emma Carlyon said she would be asking for a review of the level of training required for high-powered speedboats and whether it should be compulsory.

Dr Carlyon said "It is my intention to write to The Royal Yachting Association to firstly thank them for their proactive work in this area but to also consider whether it might be appropriate to review the advice on the level of training required for leisure powerboats and whether it ought to be compulsory."

After the verdicts were returned, Mr Milligan's older brother, Brigadier Milligan said 

"The family would like to acknowledge the bravery of all those involved in the rescue and offer our formal thanks to the witnesses who have supported this inquest.

"We would also like to thank the emergency services and the people of Cornwall who have given us great support since this tragic accident from which we hope safety lessons will be learnt.''

You can listen to his full statement here

Inquest Statement from Brigadier Milligan

 

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