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Boy's boat tragedy sparks safety alert
7:54am Monday 23rd July 2012 in Shipping
COASTGUARDS have reissued sea safety advice after a teenager died in the Solent after falling from a boat.
Now the Maritime and Coastguard Agency is warning those heading to the coast to enjoy the summer holidays to take care.
It comes after a 14-year-old boy fell off a rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) off the coast near The Needles on the Isle of Wight and was hit by its propeller.
The boat was being driven by the boy’s father, a man in his 50s from Surrey, who was uninjured. The teenager was airlifted to Southampton General Hospital , where he was pronounced dead.
Another boy, a 14-year-old school friend of the teenager, was also injured by the propeller and suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries. He is receiving treatment at St Mary’s Hospital on the Isle of Wight.
A third 14-year-old boy was also onboard as the privately-owned boat travelled from Dorset to the Isle of Wight but he was not injured.
Hampshire police say they are investigating the death of the boy but do not believe it is suspicious.
A post-mortem is due to take place and a file will be prepared for the coroner.
Senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Floyd Higginson said: “Although the death is not being treated as suspicious, it is routine procedure for specialist detectives to make initial enquiries into the sudden death of someone aged under 18.”
He said the boat was taken by the force’s Marine Unit from Yarmouth to Hamble after the incident on Friday to be secured as evidence pending further enquiries.
Police thanked HM Coastguard, the RNLI and the NHS for their “considerable assistance” during the emergency.
Last night Solent Coastguard issued safety warnings as thousands of children enjoyed warm weather at the beginning of the school summer holidays.
George Crumpler of HM Coastguard, advised checking the weather and tides, supervising children and never using blow-up toys in rough seas or off-shore winds.
He also stressed the importance of staying away from cliff edges, using lifeguarded beaches if possible and not jumping from cliffs or high ground into the sea.
Mr Crumpler added users of recreational boats should seek training and ensure the vessel is fit for purpose.
Anyone who gets into difficulty should tell the lifeguard or call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.