IT IS almost seven months since Hampshire powerboating world champion Peter Dredge’s life was turned upside down when his teenage son suffered life-threatening injuries in a speedboat crash in the Solent.

And while the Dredge family will be extra thankful this festive period – with Simon having made a full recovery – 53-year-old Peter insists the experience has not changed his approach to the high-octane sport.

With more than 30 years of competitive racing experience, Dredge senior was certainly no stranger to the dangers of the sport.

However, those perils were brought into very sharp focus last May when the £1m Vector powerboat the Dredge duo and two others were travelling in struck a buoy and dramatically crashed on the River Hamble, near Swanwick.

Simon was the worst affected, taken to hospital in a critical condition before spending a month in an induced coma.

Thankfully, he made a full recovery over the course of the summer, even acting as flag bearer for the start of September’s Cowes Torquay Powerboat Race, which his father won.

And while it remains to be seen whether the teenager will return to the boat in the future, Peter – who recently confirmed his Vector Martini team will take place in next June’s Venture Cup race around the coast of Ireland – insists the current safety protocols leave his confidence in the sport intact.

“It did hit a nerve but what made me happier was the fact that although the injuries were terrible, you can understand why they were and why they wouldn’t be relevant and wouldn’t happen in normal circumstances,” said Dredge, who was born in Portsmouth but now resides in Warsash.

“I also knew that all the work I’d done at the Royal Yachting Association during that transition period from open boats to close boats had made the sport so much safer.

“Had the boat been an open boat we would have probably all died.

“I don’t like the word freak accident but it really was a bunch of circumstances which were completely inconsequential.

“Simon is fine now, he started at university a couple of months back and he’s fine. I think he’d like to go back in the boat, but his mother is somewhat less pleased with that.”