UK RHIB Accident - 2 Fatalities - Safety Bulletin
The Marine Accident Investigation Branch is carrying out an investigation into the ejection of a family of six from a RHIB on 5 May 2013. The unmanned RHIB subsequently executed a series of tight high speed turns, running over members of the family in the water, causing two fatalities and serious injuries to two people.
MAIB SAFETY BULLETIN 1/2013, containing safety lessons, has been produced for marine safety purposes only, on the basis of information available to date. The MAIB will publish a full report on completion of the investigation.
BACKGROUND: At approximately 1549 (BST) on Sunday 5 May 2013 a family of two adults and four children were ejected from their 8.0m (26') rigid hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) into the water. They were manoeuvring the boat at speed in the Camel Estuary near Padstow, Cornwall, UK.
Some members of the family were subsequently run over by the RHIB, leading to the death of the father and the 8 year old daughter and serious injuries to the mother and the 4 year old son.
INITIAL FINDINGS: At this early stage in the investigation, the mechanism that led to the family being ejected from the RHIB into the water, is not clear.
The RHIB was fitted with a kill cord but this was not attached to the driver at the time of the accident. Consequently, when the driver was ejected from the boat, the kill cord did not operate to stop the engine and the RHIB continued to circle out of control, and at speed. As the RHIB circled, it ran over the family in the water a number of times, leading to the deaths and injuries. A few minutes later a local boatman was able to board the RHIB and bring it under control before further people were hurt.
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