Another Report of Drivers Not Wearing Kill Cords

Photograph of unnamed Fletcher 155 speedboat
Photograph of unnamed Fletcher 155 speedboat

The UK MAIB has recently issued a report on the capsize of a Fletcher speedboat in Torbay on 2nd May 2015.

The outcome of the incident resulted in the tragic death of 14 year old Emily Gardner.

It is to be hoped that the likelihood of guests and crewmembers of large yachts being exposed to the shortcomings of leisure craft constructed before the introduction of the Recreational Craft Directive 1996 are few and far between and that professional seafarers will make a proper assessment of weather, tidal and sea conditions, since these were the primary causes of this tragic accident.

There is no saying that had Emily been wearing a correctly fitting buoyancy aid, this would not have occurred, but it must be considered as a shortcoming in safety decision making by the driver.

Unfortunately, the driver’s decision not to wear a kill cord also reflects badly on his attitude to safety, albeit not a direct cause.

Relaxed attitudes to killcords remain a mystery and as the report suggests; the need to continue highlighting and raising the awareness of the issue in the yachting community.