British powerboat racer killed in high speed crash
Sunday 15 July 2012
A British powerboat racer has been killed in a high speed crash in west Africa.
William Nocker was travelling at speeds of 120 miles an hour when his boat flipped and "barrel rolled" on the water during the Gabon Grand Prix, witnesses said.
The 47-year-old was rushed to a military hospital in Gabon's capital city Libreville but doctors were unable to resuscitate him.
His co-driver, Norwegian Kurt Olsen, was also badly hurt and remains in a critical condition in intensive care.
No other drivers were involved in the crash on Friday, which appeared to happen after Mr Nocker's boat hit two waves, witnesses said.
Race promoters H20 Racing said contact had been made with Mr Nocker's father Bill and brother James following the accident.
Mr Nocker, who lived in Cheltenham, was returning to the sport following a five-year suspension after he was found guilty of tampering with a competitor's fuel supply.
A tribunal upheld charges of gross misconduct and unsportsmanlike behaviour against Mr Nocker and fellow racer Rob Lister after it was alleged water was poured into the tank of a rival boat during the Liverpool Powerboat Grand Prix in 2006.
Mr Nocker, who was originally from Tiverton, in Devon, was racing for the Welmax Offshore Racing team at the event in Gabon.
The race, the second round of the Class 1 world offshore championship, was immediately stopped following the accident as safety teams rushed to attend to the injured crew at the scene.
As a mark of respect organisers cancelled the next day's second round before abandoning the event completely.
The sport's governing body, Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM), has launched an investigation into the cause of the crash and plans to inspect the boat's wreckage.
Gabon's prime minister Ndong Sima joined racing teams as they returned to the crash site today to pay tribute to Mr Nocker.
They held a minute's silence and laid a wreath on the water while competitors and team members scattered flowers.
Nicolo di San Germano, president of H20 Racing, said: "We are all extremely saddened by this tragic racing accident. There are very few suitable words at a time such as this but we all send our heartfelt condolences to William's family."
The Foreign Office said it was providing consular assistance to Mr Nocker's family.
Latest in Sport
How Atletico Madrid produced a miracle on a shoestring
Chelsea could face FA punishment after Jose Mourinho makes post-match dig at referee
Norwich 2 Liverpool 3 match report: Liverpool go five points clear of Chelsea at top of Premier League table on day Luis Suarez hits goal number 30
Luis Suarez: Liverpool striker shows both his sides after hitting 30 Premier League goals but play acting yet again
Liverpool: Three remaining fixtures - can they remain on top of the Premier League table?
- 1 Easter egg hunt horror as mother finds dead body under deck of house
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 Unbeliebable: The White House offer 'no comment' to anti-Justin Bieber petition
- 4 Loch Ness Monster found on Apple Maps?
- 5 How We Met: Alison Moyet & Emma Kennedy: 'I knew we'd be friends because she was happy to make a prat of herself'
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
£130 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Ilford: Secondary Geography Teacher Lo...
£55 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Are you a dynamic and energeti...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: SEN TAs, LSAs and Support Workers needed...
£50000 - £60000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: The Sheffield office of this...