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Dad and Daughter Dead in Speed Boat Tragedy

news - padstow
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7:04am 8th May 2013
(Updated 7:04am 8th May 2013)

A dad and his eight year old daughter are dead, and a mum and her three children seriously hurt in hospital after a speedboat accident.

It tipped them out - then ran them down in the Camel estuary.

Waterskiing instructor Charlie Toogood has been hailed a hero after he jumped on to the speedboat from another vessel to switch off the engine.

A second man, Will Jones, was also named as someone who came to their rescue.

Writing on Facebook, Maria Chase said: "We were down in Padstow and saw the tragedy and saw Nick-Milligan-pica hero who saved more lives by jumping on to an out-of-control speedboat from another boat."

Police have admitted that, without their actions, the death toll could have been higher.

The father has been named as 51 year old Nick Milligan, a senior executive at BSkyB.

A massive rescue operation was launched just before four o'clock on Sunday afternoon - with two helicopters and more lifeboats racing to the scene in the Camel estuary.

Coastguard teams from Polzeath and St Merryn, police, RNLI and crews from RNAS Culdrose and RMB Chivenor took part.

Jo Rawlings from Falmouth Coastguard said: "It was reported to us that the boat was out of control and had struck a number of those that were in the water.

"The RNLI lifeboats from Rock and Padstow were sent to the scene.

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

It is thought the boat continued to turn in a tight circle, running over those left flailing in the water.

A thirty-nine year old woman and her four year old son have been left with potentially life-changing injuries. A twelve year old girl and her ten year old sister were also taken to hospital.
The family was visiting Cornwall on holiday from London.
The brother of Nick Milligan, Max, his voice trembling with emotion, read a statement at a police press conference. He said: "Nick, or Nicko as he was known to us, was an extremely loving father, husband, son and brother who doted on his family.
"As children and teenagers we spent many summers and New Year's Eves at New Polzeath here in Cornwall and a few years ago he built his dream home above Daymer Bay.
"That he and my delightful niece died in their favourite place at the end of a gloriously sunny bank holiday weekend provides us with a tiny glimmer of light."

One of the people who dialled 999 to report what had happened described it as "distressing" saying her thoughts were with all those involved.

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."

Martin Jenkins, who lives in the village, said: "“The water was filled with blood. It was like a horror film.

“I heard the helicopter and saw the ambulance crews working on a couple of people. It was all very frantic.

Detective Superintendent Jim Colwell said: "Our thoughts are with the family and friends who are affected by this tragic incident. I'd like to thank the members of the public who assisted with the rescue of the individuals in the water yesterday and all of the emergency services for safely and swiftly moving the casualties to Derriford. Everyone's assistance undoubtedly saved lives."

A joint investigation between police and coastguard is ongoing into the cause of the incident. Twenty-five officers are involved in the case, with extra officers being put onto the streets of Padstow.

They are asking any witnesses to get in touch with police, along with anyone who might have footage of the speedboat on mobile phone or camera.

Nick Milligan was a senior executive at broadcaster BSkyB. A company spokesperson said: "Everyone at Sky is deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic accident involving the Milligan family. Nick has been a great friend and colleague for many years and his loss will be felt across our company and the industry. Our very deepest sympathies are with his family at this time."

7:04am 8th May 2013

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