Padstow UK Speedboat / Boat Double Fatality Propeller Accident ? 5 May 2013

A family of six on holiday in Padstow UK was boating about half a mile from Padstow Harbor about 3:40 pm Sunday May 5, 2013. All six people on board were ejected and the out of control speedboat began spinning in the Circle of Death. Two family members were killed outright (the 51 year old father and his 8 year old daughter), the other four were injured (31 year old mother, 10 and 12 year old girls, and their 4 year old son). A separate report said two boys ages 4 and 13 were also among the wounded. Officials are obviously still sorting things out.


Nicholas Milligan Boat Propeller Accident at Padstow UK: Two Dead 5 May 2013

The family came from London to holiday in Cornwall for the Bank Holiday and were in their own boat, a Cobra RIB named Millie powered by a large Yamaha outboard motor.

The four non-fatally injured family members suffered some life threatening as well as some life changing injuries per officials (sounds like some amputations may be involved). They were taken to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth. Reports said the children and the mother all had leg injuries of varying severity.

Note – Early reports do not mention propeller strikes. However, a spinning boat striking six people in the water, killing two of them, and the survivors having leg injuries has a high probability of having struck at least some of them with the propeller. We await additional details on propeller strikes and names of the victims, not yet been released (late Sunday).

Sunday was a pretty day with calm water at Padstow. Several visitors to the area witnessed the spinning boat, the rescue, the search for victims, and the aftermath.

The accident happened in Camel Estuary just off Padstow a popular resort community in North Cornwall.

A gentleman walking his dog said he saw the boat suddenly turn right, then people were “deposited” in the water.

The boat kept going in tighter circles and screams from those in the water were “pretty bad”. A coastguardsman managed to jump in and stop the boat. Onlookers called him a real hero.

One onlooker reported, “the water was filled with blood like a horror film.”

BBC News had an amateur video of the boat still circling while a rescuer was trying to board it.

A subheadline bullet on MailOnline said “Rescue Teams Frantically Tried to Save People Who Have Been Mowed Down”

Early reports indicated the spinning boat may have struck some other boats (including some kayaks), or maybe even more people in the water. Authorities continue to sort out the events.

Rescue Crews at the Scene

Several assets responded to the accident to aid in search in rescue including:

  • Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) liveboats from Rock, Padstow, and Port Issac
  • RNAS helicopter from Culdrose
  • RMB helicopter from Chievenor
  • Coastguard Rescue Teams from St. Merryn, Newquay,and Polzeath
  • Falmouth Coast Guard
  • Devon and Cornwall Police>
  • Southwestern Ambulance Service

Other Boat Propeller Accidents Injuring Several People

This accident brought a long ago accident in New York to mind.

  • June 18, 1931 – six people struck by propeller at Hempstead Harbor near Glen Cove, New York. Eight people had been ejected from a boat, the prop eventually hit six of them. The accident was reported in the New York times.

A Big Thanks to the UK News Media

We would especially like to thank the major UK news outlets for carrying this story as it broke (some carried several same day updates as events transpired) and some regional outlets as well. We reviewed same day coverage in the:

  • BBC
  • Daily Mail (MailOnline)
  • The Guardian
  • The Huffington Post
  • The Independent
  • itv
  • The Mirror
  • The Sun
  • This is Plymouth, and This is Cornwall
  • The Telegraph
  • Sky News

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