Carbon monoxide poisoning suspected as police name mother and daughter who died in Lake Windermere boating tragedy

 

Police have named a mother and daughter who died in a Bank Holiday boating tragedy on Lake Windermere.

Kelly Webster, 36, and 10-year-old Lauren Thornton are believed to have suffered fatal gas poisoning. Both are from Leyland in Lancashire.

Ms Webster's partner, Matthew Eteson, 39, who was also on board, was treated in hospital before being released today.

A Cumbria police spokesman said officers were alerted to reports that three people on a privately-owned boat were having serious breathing difficulties.

“On arrival, Mrs Webster and her daughter, Lauren, were being treated by paramedics and were airlifted to Royal Lancaster Infirmary, where they tragically died. A man, 39, from Leyland, who was also on the boat, remains in Royal Lancaster Infirmary receiving treatment," the spokesman said.

"Police are not treating the deaths as suspicious, and it is suspected that the deaths were caused by some form of gas poisoning. Inquiries continue to be conducted by officers on behalf of the coroner," he added.

Tony Rothwell, who runs the Bowness Bay marina, told the Daily Telegraph that he was told by lake wardens that the boat had been fitted with a faulty generator.

The generator was connected to a fan heater, which is thought to have been turned on. Temperatures around the Lake District remained only just above freezing throughout the day.

Mr Rothwell said: "It was an amateur job. The boat had been fitted with a generator and the exhaust has leaked. It had been a very cold day and the fan heater was connected to the generator. It is a terrible tragedy."

Emergency services were called to the private boat at around 4pm on Monday. The incident, at a jetty near Bowness, was witnessed by Dragons’ Den star Duncan Bannatyne, who was nearby. He posted a photograph of the scene on Twitter, saying: “Tragic accident over there I am afraid.”

Police said Mr Eteson, who is the owner of the boat, raised the alarm after experiencing breathing difficulties.

Detective Inspector Mike Brown, who is leading the investigation, said Ms Webster and her daughter were both found in the rear of the boat.

He said he believed the deaths of Ms Webster and her daughter "may be as a result of carbon monoxide inhalation".

He said: "What we are looking at specifically is an aftermarket generator that has been fitted in the engine compartment of the boat which we believe may be the cause of this.

"But, again, it's still early stages in the investigation so we can't rule anything out."

Although it is not known what gas caused the deaths, the tragedy prompted renewed warnings over the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The so-called silent killer causes 50 fatalities a year in the UK leaving a further 200 seriously ill.  Odourless and tasteless, symptoms from the gas include headache, dizziness, vomiting and shortness of breath.

Carbon monoxide is produced when fuels such as wood, gas or coal do not burn fully. It can be caused by poorly installed heating appliances or blocked chimneys or flues.

Last Easter a six-year-old girl died during a family camping trip to the New Forest as a result of fumes given off from a barbecue.

Windermere is England’s largest natural lake and a popular destination for watersports.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Supporting role: at the Supreme Court, Rhodes was accompanied by a famous friend, the actor Benedict Cumberbatch
booksPianist James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to stop the injunction of his memoirs
Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan
filmDheepan, film review
Sport
Steven Gerrard scores for Liverpool
sport
News
Tattoo enthusiast Cammy Stewart poses for a portrait during the Great British Tattoo Show
In picturesThe Great British Tattoo Show
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?