Lake District bosses reject calls for boat safety scheme

Kelly Webster and Lauren Thornton Image copyright Cumbria Police
Image caption Kelly Webster, 36, and Lauren Thornton, 10, died in April 2013

Lake District bosses will not adopt a boat safety scheme recommended by a marine watchdog following the deaths of a mother and daughter on Windermere.

Kelly Webster and Lauren Thornton of Leyland, Lancashire, were killed by generator fumes on a boat in 2013.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) called for new vessels to be fitted with carbon monoxide alarms.

But the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) has voted unanimously to not implement the scheme.

Ms Webster's partner Matthew Eteson, 42, had modified the boat's system to make it quieter but a makeshift exhaust failed, allowing lethal gases to build up.

He was handed a two-year suspended jail sentence after being found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence.

Image caption The trial heard Matthew Eteson had constructed a copper pipe which had "fallen apart" when the temperature at the soldered elbow got too high

The MAIB urged the government to bring in rules that would mean all new recreational craft would have to be fitted with carbon monoxide alarms.

However, LDNPA members said the scheme was "not an effective comprehensive method of addressing the important issue of boat safety" and voted against it at a meeting on Wednesday.

Head of park management Mark Eccles, said the authority is introducing compulsory public liability insurance which it hopes will drive up the "quality and maintenance" of boats.

He said: "The most important thing for us is the promotion and awareness of carbon monoxide poisoning. What we really want to do is make sure we're out and about with people - a proactive campaign."

The authority said the compulsory insurance applies to Coniston and Ullswater moorings and does not include Windermere as it is managed by South Lakeland District Council and private moorings.

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