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VIDEO: "Daddy's dead, Daddy's dead"

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6:03am 10th November 2014

A woman has told of the moment she realised her husband and little girl had been killed in the Padstow speedboat tragedy.

Nick Milligan and eight year old Emily lost their lives when they were thrown into the water last May, and then run down.

Ahead of an inquest starting on Monday, Victoria has described being in the water and hearing one of her children screaming "Daddy's dead, Daddy's dead."

The forty year old says she was drifting in and out of consciousness as she tried to get her badly hurt son away from the out-of-control speedboat: "I had Kit in my arms and just presumed that we were the only ones hurt,” she said. “There was a lot of blood in the water and my left leg was hanging off above the ankle.

“I was more worried about Kit’s right foot as I could see his little white trainer floating in the water.

“I remember my 12-year-old, Amber, in the water screaming, ‘Daddy’s dead, Daddy’s dead’, her face covered in blood from her injured hand.”

In an interview with the Sunday Times she has said she was already trying to work out how she would manage without Nick: “I remember the most basic of all human instincts, survival, kicking in. Lying in the water, dipping into unconsciousness having lost a lot of blood, I was figuring out how I was going to look after the children on my own: I’d put the house on the market, buy a smaller one.

“It still surprises me how strong that practical survival instinct is.”

The family had been in Cornwall for the bank holiday weekend - walking around Daymer Bay, swimming in the sea, rock-pooling and eating pasties - before deciding to take their boat out on the estuary.

Victoria has revealed her husband was wearing a kill cord, that would have cut the boat's engine, but had handed the controls over to her so he could play with the children.

“Then he said those fateful words: ‘Who wants to go round again?’,” Mrs Milligan wrote. “All the kids shouted with glee: ‘Me, me!’. So he told me to turn right to head back out of the estuary.

“I didn’t feel that I had enough space to turn and I said so.

“He reached across me and, at the same time as pulling the steering wheel down hard to the right, he pushed the throttle up to its maximum, causing the boat to go into a steep turn, and we all found ourselves flung into the water.

“I can only presume that he was helping me to make the turn and slipped.”

Rescuers raced to the scene - including a local man who jumped into the boat to stop the engine.

Mr Milligan and Emily are buried at St Enodoc Church next to the beach at Daymer Bay, with the inscription: “As is a tale, so is life: not how long is is, but how good it is, is what matters.”

It has been revealed Victoria Milligan has quietly raised £750,000 for Cornwall Air Ambulance, the RNLI and Child Bereavement UK.

You can donate here.

6:03am 10th November 2014

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