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
Arts and Entertainment
filmPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
News
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
people
News
General Election
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
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: Office Administrator

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Office Administrator is requ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - Commercial Vehicles - OTE £40,000

£12000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion and growth of ...

Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer - Sheffield - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer position with a...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Leader - Plasma Processing

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Operations Leader is required to join a lea...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders