MAIB Issues Kill Cord Warning After UK Milligan Accident
Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) investigates marine accidents for the United Kingdom (UK). Today, 17 May 2013, MAIB issued Safety Bulletin 1/2013 in response to the recent double fatality Nicholas Milligan accident. The family was ejected from a RIB near Padstow Harbor, Cornwall UK, at Camel Estuary, the unmanned RIB circled, and struck them repeatedly, killing two members of the family and seriously injuring two more.
The kill cord (emergency engine ignition shut-off switch cord / kill switch lanyard) was not in use at the time of the Milligan accident.
MAIB stresses this safety bulletin / warning is for safety purposes only. MAIB will issue a full investigative report on the Milligan accident at a later date.
When the driver was ejected, the boat did not stop because the kill cord was not in use.
Then follows the actual safety bulletin:
The kill cord serves only one purpose, to stop the engine when the driver moves away from the controls. To ensure that this tragic accident is not repeated it is essential that all owners and operators of vessels fitted with kill cords:
• Test them regularly to ensure that the engine stops when the kill cord mechanism is operated.
• Make sure that the cord is in good condition.
• Always attach the cord securely to the driver, ideally before the engine is started, but certainly before the boat is put in gear.
• Stop the engine before transferring the kill cord to another driver.
Further information regarding the use of kill cords can be found at