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Norfolk Broads boat death: Inquest hears friends 'pushing each other in'


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Not seen this mentioned on the forum before. Highlights the danger of being in the water anywhere near a rotating propeller.

 

"Mr Collins told the court his friend "disappeared under the water" and three of the men jumped in as Mr Houlder appeared at the side of the boat screaming.

"I could see he sustained a significant injury to his left leg," he said.

Mr Houlder was airlifted to hospital, but he died from a haemorrhage on 15 September - the day before his birthday."

 

https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/uk-england-norfolk-55333883

 

 

 

Edited by David Mack
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That is a very sad tale, very sad. Having lived in a Broads village and cruised/sailed the area extensively I am surprised that there have not been more like it. Too often boats are seen with rowdy crowds on board. The summer months are sometimes much like a procession of booze cruisers. All nice enough folk I am sure but in the wrong place for their kind of enjoyment. SO sad when what should be a joyous occasion ends in such a way.

 

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It does say they were throwing him, indeed each other, off the moving boat, which suggests reckless behaviour even if borne of high spirits. The article also says they had been drinking. The point is it is not unusual behaviour on the Broads.

 

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What a tragic end. 

 

As said, could have happened just as easily without any drink, the issue was the lack of awareness/respect for the propeller location and power.

 

Partly this is due to 'hidden danger' which could be educated for specifically. But also perhaps a winder assumption that things 'will be safe' as we slowly remove mainstream source is easy death. 

 

Either way, very sad end for the bloke. 

 

Daniel (33.5yo)

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2 hours ago, Scholar Gypsy said:

Obviously, we haven't seen/heard all the evidence, but on the basis of this I thought the coroner was quite gentle on the skipper in charge of the boat. Ho hum.

,,,and quite rightly so. He's lost one of his best friends, there was no malice involved, and he will have to live with that terrible memory.

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First thing i do in the event of someone falling in is to drop revs and knock out of gear, unless at the bow in immediate danger of being crushed. 

 I've only hired once and there was no mention of the dangers of the prop.

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6 minutes ago, BWM said:

First thing i do in the event of someone falling in is to drop revs and knock out of gear, unless at the bow in immediate danger of being crushed. 

 I've only hired once and there was no mention of the dangers of the prop.

 

We have hired many times and I cant recall there being any mention of the MOB procedure on handover. I have a vauge recollection of it being refered to in the pack that comes with the boat but couldn't say for sure. I can check in April.

 

I would think not many bother to read that anyway.

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Narrow boat hire company I worked for made it clear in the handover, MOB put into neutral immediately. If going into the weed hatch turn engine off and remove keys.

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47 minutes ago, Athy said:

,,,and quite rightly so. He's lost one of his best friends, there was no malice involved, and he will have to live with that terrible memory.

 

I guess I am surprised there was not a narrative verdict, for example some findings relating to the ?reckless behaviour of the crew, briefing for the skipper on handover etc.  Like others below, MOB drill is I think the second thing I brief novice steerers on when I let them have a go on my boat, after I have explained how the morse control works.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inquests_in_England_and_Wales#Verdict_or_conclusions

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2 hours ago, Athy said:

,,,and quite rightly so. He's lost one of his best friends, there was no malice involved, and he will have to live with that terrible memory.

 

I'm afraid that I have to disagree.

 

This was not an unavoidable accident, and the narrative of "they were all pushing each other in, and there was nothing untoward, lads will be lads" is quite simply wrong.

They were all engaged in what was pretty stupid behaviour, and this resulted in a death.

The guy who died was stupid. Those pushing their friends in were stupid, the skipper was stupid.

He has placed himself in charge of a vehicle, and has not exercised proper attention to the responsibilities that this brings. My view is that this is gross negligence manslaughter.
 

  • Greenie 4
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3 minutes ago, mayalld said:

My view is that this is gross negligence manslaughter.
 

Possibly, but not on the part of anyone on the boat. 

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12 minutes ago, Athy said:

Possibly, but not on the part of anyone on the boat. 

it might seem that you contribute to nanny-state philosophy.  :unsure:

 

if only we could return to the common sense philosophy which required each person to think, assess and avoid.  Darwin identified the theme, but some folk think they are somehow excused from being sensible.

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21 minutes ago, Murflynn said:

it might seem that you contribute to nanny-state philosophy.  :unsure:

 

 

There again, it might not.

If blame is to be apportioned for what, after all, was entirely accidental, then the hiring company or their agent must bear the brunt of it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just picking this thread up. 
Years ago I did a rescue boat course on Lake Windermere and the danger caused by the propeller was drilled into us. 
It’s something which is not much discussed by Narrowboat owners and I guess that most people who fall overboard just walk to the shore but maybe more should be made of this danger.

Having said that, it doesn’t seem to happen often?

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8 minutes ago, Peter Thornton said:

Just picking this thread up. 
Years ago I did a rescue boat course on Lake Windermere and the danger caused by the propeller was drilled into us. 
It’s something which is not much discussed by Narrowboat owners and I guess that most people who fall overboard just walk to the shore but maybe more should be made of this danger.

Having said that, it doesn’t seem to happen often?

 

Once is more than enough for most people ...

 

Don't stop the boat, stop the prop!

  • Greenie 1
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Always reminds me of some Hire Boaters I witnessed at Fradley a few years back.

 

We were moored outside the Swan waiting to go through the locks towards Alrewas

 

Young girl fell in from the bank after negotiating the bridge on the Coventry.

 

Boat carried on and the skipper then realising she had gone in actually reversed the boat back towards her in the water. Despite my best efforts of shouting 'STOP DONT DO THAT' they carried on and remarkably manged to pull her up the back of the boat unscathed.

 

I had visions of my very out of date basic First Aid skills being called into action but thankfully not.

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