England

Ness Point deaths: 'Inexperience' contributed to disaster

MCA retrieve speedboat from the sea Image copyright MCA
Image caption The speedboat was thought to have capsized off Ness Point

The inexperience of three men who died when their craft capsized off the coast of Suffolk in bad weather contributed to their deaths, a report says.

Peter Chambers, 43, Andrew Porter and Malcolm Sayer set off in a speedboat from Great Yarmouth on 10 March in an attempt to recover fishing equipment.

A Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) report said the men had not checked weather forecasts.

As waves grew the "unsuitable" boat took in water and capsized, it added.

The men, without lifejackets, fell into very cold water and would have soon lost consciousness and drowned, the report concluded.

The disaster happened off Ness Point in Lowestoft.

No distress call

The body of Peter Chambers, who was wearing a buoyancy aid that may have contributed to his death, was recovered later but the other two men are still missing.

The buoyancy aid would have left Mr Chambers lying face down in water at 42 degrees Fahrenheit (six degrees Celsius), the report said.

No distress call was made from the boat but the men had mobile telephones which may have become wet, it added.

Holes for engine control wires just above the waterline were not filled in and in the stormy sea water would have got in through these, contributing to the capsize, the MAIB said.

The propeller also became snagged in an anchor rope.

The MAIB report said if VHF radio had been fitted, and contact made when the rope first snagged the propeller, the emergency services could have been on standby.

But in this case, the tragedy had already happened by the time anyone onshore was aware of it, the report concluded.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites