Driver on speedboat that killed Nick Milligan and daughter Emily in Padstow 'was not wearing safety cord'

'Kill cord' was not attached to the driver so engine continued to run following his ejection, MAIB says

The driver of a speedboat which killed two members of the same family as it raged out of control in a coastal beauty spot was not attached to a safety device designed to cut power in an emergency, investigators have said.

Nick Milligan, 51, the managing director of Sky's advertising sales division, Sky Media, was declared dead at the scene in Padstow, Cornwall, with his daughter, Emily, eight, following the incident on Sunday, 5 May.

His wife, Victoria, 39, and the couple's other children Amber, 12, Olivia, ten, and Kit, four, were also injured by the speedboat as it circled at high speed.

The family, from Wandsworth in south west London, were on holiday in the coastal town when they were thrown from the boat which went "out of control" and struck them.

Initial investigations by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB), published today, said members of the family were "run over" in the water after they were thrown from the inflatable boat at speed on the Camel Estuary, shortly after 3.50pm.

The report states: "The [boat] was fitted with a kill cord, but this was not attached to the driver at the time of the accident.

"Consequently, when the driver was ejected from the boat, the kill cord did not operate to stop the engine and the [boat] continued to circle out of control, and at speed."

It said the boat ran over members of the family "a number of times" as it circled in the water.

The runaway boat went on to inflict other injuries on water users until water skiing instructor Charlie Toogood leapt from his own boat into the craft to turn off its engine and prevent further harm. He was subsequently declared a hero for his actions.

The MAIB said a number of checks ought to be done to ensure the kill cord is effective in cutting the engine when the driver moves away from the controls.

It has not been confirmed who was driving the boat at the time of the incident.

PA

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