The findings of an investigation looking into the failings that led to the death of a Cheadle woman following a watercraft collision have been released. Jane Walker, 52, sustained fatal injuries after a high speed crash between a rigid inflatable boat (RIB) - on which she was a passenger - and a jet ski in North Wales in August 2020.
The findings of an investigation looking into the failings that led to the death of a Cheadle woman following a watercraft collision have been released.
Jane Walker, 52, sustained fatal injuries after a high speed crash between a rigid inflatable boat (RIB) – on which she was a passenger – and a jet ski in North Wales in August 2020.
It has now been found that neither of the drivers in control of the crafts had been on an appropriate training course.
Both were operating in too close a proximity to one another while producing “uncoordinated high-speed manoeuvres.”
The report added: “The knowledge and skill levels of the persons in control or overseeing the two craft were not appropriate to the manoeuvres being undertaken.”
The personal watercraft had been initially jumping across the RIB’s trailing wake before the RIB changed its course across the personal watercraft’s path.
It was noted that it was evident that neither rider understood the other’s intentions.
Other contributing factors included the fact that Anglesey County Council had insufficient governance of the marine environment with a lack of resources, risk assessments and water-space management powers.
Additionally, the “inconsistent approach” to personal watercraft management around the coast had a detrimental impact on the efforts being made to reduce irresponsible use.
Andrew Moll, Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents, said: “As the use of leisure craft in the UK becomes ever more popular, this tragic accident serves as a powerful reminder that uncoordinated, high-speed manoeuvres near other craft are unsafe.
“Personal watercraft, often referred to as jet skis, provide a unique and fun way to enjoy the water, but they are high performance machines, not toys.
“The completion of an appropriate training course will better equip the rider with skills and knowledge necessary for the safe use of a personal watercraft.”
He added: “Although there are many harbour and local authorities that manage their waters to provide safe areas for all water users, there is an inconsistency of management around the UK coast, which can lead to conflicted interests and confusion.
“Following this investigation, I have recommended to the Royal Yachting Association and Personal Watercraft Partnership that a cross industry forum be formally created to provide a more consistent approach to the management of personal watercraft around the UK.”
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