Padstow speedboat accident: Brave rescuer Charlie Toogood hailed for stopping out-of-control boat

The waterskiing instructor almost certainly prevented more deaths

A waterskiing instructor who risked his own life by leaping onto an out-of-control speedboat to cut its engine after it had killed a father and daughter has been hailed a hero.

Witnesses lauded the intervention of Charlie Toogood who almost certainly prevented more deaths as the vessel circled in the water killing BSkyB executive Nick Milligan, 51, and eight-year-old Emily.

Four members of the Milligan family were also injured when they were all tossed overboard and struck by the boat as it continued to circle despite not having a driver.

Footage shot by eyewitnesses and aired by the BBC shows Mr Toogood's vessel manoeuvring alongside the Milligan's boat and Mr Toogood  jumping from one boat to the other.

It is believed Mr Toogood, 32, managed to throw a rope round the propeller to slow the boat down before leaping across and taking the wheel.

Detective Superintendent Jim Colwell said: “Without the brave and heroic efforts of local people and holidaymakers in the minutes immediately after this incident in assisting the family whilst they were in the water, if people hadn’t come to their assistance, I’m confident that this incident would have been far worse in terms of the overall death toll.”

Matt Pavitt, from the North Cornwall Coastguard, said two kayakers and at least three other vessels went to the aid of the family “within minutes”, while one man who went to help was named as Will Jones.

“One of the kayakers actually managed to manoeuvre their kayak in between the boat while it was still circling to provide aid to some people incredibly quickly,” he said.

Mr Milligan, who was managing director of Sky’s advertising sales division, Sky Media, was on holiday with his family when the incident happened. His 39-year-old wife, Victoria, and their four-year-old son, Kit, remain in hospital with “serious, potentially life-changing injuries”, while their other daughters Amber, 12, and Olivia, 10, suffered minor injuries.

Officials are now assessing whether the boat had a “kill cord”, which is attached to the driver and is designed to cut the fuel supply if the driver falls overboard; and if the boat did have the safety device, why it failed to work.

Grieving relatives paid tribute to Nick and Emily Milligan yesterday. His brother, Max, said Mr Milligan, known as “Nico”, was an “extremely loving father, husband, son and brother, who doted on his family”. He added: “As children and teenagers we spent many summers and New Year’s Eves at New Polzeath here in Cornwall and a few years ago he built his dream home above Daymer Bay.

“That he and my delightful niece died at their favourite place at the end of a gloriously sunny bank holiday weekend provides us with a tiny glimmer of light. I’d like to thank Devon and Cornwall Police and all the staff at Derriford Hospital who have been incredible over the last few days.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
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

Recruitment Genius: Operations / Transport & Logistics Assistant

£16000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This highly regarded industry l...

Recruitment Genius: Finance Team Leader

£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you want to work for a Compa...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you want to work for a Compa...

Recruitment Genius: HR Advisor

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an innovative a...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower