Speedboat death: Emily Gardner's parents watch 'stressful' footage

Emily Gardner Image copyright Family of Emily Gardner
Image caption Emily Gardner's family said the 14-year-old was "full of life and had the world ahead of her"

The parents of a schoolgirl wept as they watched an "extremely stressful" police video taken after their daughter died in a boating accident in Devon.

Emily Gardner, 14, from Gloucester, died while on holiday in May last year.

She was a passenger on a speedboat when her buoyancy aid became snagged after a large wave overturned the boat.

An inquest heard Emily was under the water for 15 minutes in the sea off Brixham.

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Coroner Ian Arrow described the police video as "extremely stressful" and told the jury it was not their role to "apportion blame".

The hearing was told the speedboat was owned by Paul Pritchard and Philip Marr, had cost them £1,800 from eBay and had been serviced months before the incident.

Image caption Police divers recovered the boat, which overturned off Brixham, Devon

Investigating officer Det Sgt Andrew Turner told the inquest that two in the group had been at the front and rear of the boat on sea scooters when it "encountered a wave and overturned".

Although the inquest was told Emily was a good swimmer, Det Sgt Turner said her buoyancy aid "got caught in the rear cleat in the upturned boat".

The officer said the weather and sea conditions were force 4-5 with "significant 1.1 metre wave height".

'No sign of life'

Luke Holland-Bowyer, 18, had been riding one of the sea scooters and said a "wave came out of nowhere" and "it was blue on blue, a blue wave on blue sea".

Mr Pritchard, who was driving the boat, said he did not see the large wave or he would have taken evasive action.

John Ford, skipper of the Silver Sea Brixham Express Ferry, went to help and tried to right it by towing it, to help locate and free Emily.

He estimated Emily was under the water for 15 minutes.

Nicholas Hance, from the UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch, said from CCTV footage he estimated Emily was freed 25 minutes after the speedboat capsized.

He said: "The sea is an unpredictable place. The boat was in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Image copyright Emily Gardner
Image caption Emily Gardner's family previously described her as "our diamond, now shining bright in the sky"

Torbay lifeboat coxswain Mark Criddle said when she was pulled from the water there was "no sign of life".

She was taken to Torbay Hospital in a critical condition and Dr Atanu Mukherjee said resuscitation attempts were halted after 80 minutes.

Mr Pritchard said: "Both my family and I were devastated, and continue to be devastated, for Emily's tragic death."

The family of the teenager has previously described her as a girl who was "full of life and had the world ahead of her".

The hearing continues.

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