Police at the scene of a boat crash at Padstow harbour where a father and daughter died

Police at the scene of a boat crash at Padstow harbour where a father and daughter died

A father and daughter were killed and four other members of their family seriously injured when their speedboat ran out of control yesterday.

The group including a four-year-old boy, were thrown from the boat when it flipped over.

Hundreds of holidaymakers who had been enjoying the Bank Holiday sunshine on the Camel Estuary near Padstow watched in horror as the boat raced round in circles, its propeller slashing the helpless victims and turning the water ?red with blood?.

Witnesses said a man heroically leapt on to the runaway boat from another craft in an attempt to prevent more people being hit.

Last night Devon and Cornwall police confirmed that the two who died were a 51-year-old man and his daughter aged eight. Detective Sergeant James Colwell said: ?The information is suggesting at the moment that they are not local to the area and are here on holiday, renting a holiday home. Unfortunately the family members that were taken to hospital do have life-changing injuries.?

The survivors were flown to Derriford hospital in Plymouth. They were a 39-year-old woman, a four-year-old boy and two girls aged 10 and 12.

It is believed that the boat, named Milly, is a rigid inflatable boat or RIB privately owned by the family. Speedboats are common sights around the harbour area in the popular tourist destination, nicknamed ?Padstein? because it is home of celebrity chef Rick Stein.

Emergency services were scrambled after they received a large number of calls from members of the public who had been standing on the packed harbourside when they saw the 3.50pm yesterday afternoon.

Three RNLI lifeboats were sent to the scene as well as search and rescue helicopters from RNAS Culdrose and RMB Chievenor.

Witnesses described the efforts of the unidentified man to bring the boat under control and also praised the lifeboatmen.

Maria Chase wrote on Facebook: ?We were down in Padstow today and saw the tragedy and saw a hero who saved more lives by jumping on to an out-of-control speedboat from another boat.

?He deserves a medal, whoever he was.?

Another, Charlotte Jacobs, wrote to the RNLI on Twitter: ?We witnessed incredible bravery in Padstow today during the tragic accident that unfolded. The men involved deserve medals.?

Other witnesses told of the horror of seeing the runaway boat locked into a circling pattern.

One woman who did not want to be named said: ?I saw a helicopter come over us and rushed over to see the commotion and saw two ambulances on the beach, they were working on two people who looked in a lot of trouble.

?The water was red, it was terrible. That boat most have hit those poor people at a terrifying speed.?

Padstow resident Martin Jenkins, 63, said: ?I heard the helicopter and went over to the estuary and saw the ambulance crews working on a couple of people.

?It was all very frantic. The emergency services acted pretty quickly and everyone was ushered away so we couldn?t see any more, it was probably for our own good because it looked a mess, it was pretty nasty.

?It looked terrible, the water was filled with blood like a horror film.?

Saskia Wilce who works on the harbourside wrote on Twitter: ?So horrible seeing the injured people today. The motor thing went funny and flipped the boat so everyone flew out and it started circling them all then went through them.?

Natalie Dawe added that she believed the boat had come from nearby Rock.

Jo Rawlings of the Maritime and Coastguard agency said: ?Falmouth Coastguard was first contacted at 15.48 this afternoon reporting that six people had been thrown from a speedboat approximately half a mile off Padstow in the Camel Estuary.

?It was reported by members of the public that the boat was out of control and had struck a number of those in the water.

?The RNLI lifeboats from Rock and Padstow along with the search and rescue helicopters from RNAS Culdrose and RMB Chivenor were sent to the scene. St Merryn, Newquay and Polzeath Coastguard Rescue Teams have also been involved.

?It is a popular destination and, with the weather being quite pleasant, it was fairly busy.?

Last night the normally bustling harbour was cordoned off by police.

A spokesman for official tourist body Visit Cornwall said: ?Our thoughts are with the injured and bereaved involved in the tragic speed boat accident at Padstow harbour this afternoon.?

Rick Stein and his wife Jill wrote on their Facebook page: ?Our thoughts are with injured and bereaved involved in the tragic accident in Padstow this afternoon.?

Dailymail

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