Boat death: father weeps as he tells of 'freak wave' that killed his son

Fri, 01 Feb 2013

An inquest into the death of Charlie Hutton, 14, of Croydon, Surrey, has recorded a verdict of accidental death.
 
Charlie Hutton was travelling on a motorboat driven by his father, Simon Hutton, when a ‘freak wave’ hit the boat and Charlie was swept overboard and became entangled in a propeller. He was airlifted to Southampton General Hospital, but died of multiple injuries to his pelvis and left leg. 
 
The inquest heard that Mr Hutton had Royal Yachting Association qualifications for motorised vessels and the boat was well equipped with safety gear.
 
Two of Charlie’s friends were also on board, one was treated for a serious ankle injury, but the other, along with Mr Hutton, managed to stay on board and were uninjured.
 
Caroline Sumeray, Isle of Wight Coroner, said "It seems clear to me that the only verdict I can record is one of accidental death.” She also called upon the leisure boating industry to promote the use of propeller safety and awareness. 
 
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