A horrific RIB accident on the Camel Estuary in Padstow on Sunday has left a father and his eight-year-old daughter dead and two other members of the family with life-changing injuries
Nick Milligan and his eight-year-old daughter, Emily, were killed when their RIB spun out of control throwing them and four other members of the family into the water.
Nick’s wife, Victoria, and their four-year-old son Kit are in hospital with potentially “life-changing” injuries, while two other daughters, Amber, 12, and Olivia, 10, suffered minor injuries.
Falmouth Coastguard said it was first alerted to the incident shortly before 4pm on Sunday with reports that six people had been thrown from a speedboat approximately half a mile off Padstow in the Camel Estuary.
A statement read: “It was reported by members of the public that the boat was out of control and had struck a number of those in the water.
“The RNLI lifeboats from Rock and Padstow along with the search and rescue helicopters from RNAS Culdrose and RMB Chivenor were sent to the scene. St. Merryn, Newquay and Polzeath Coastguard Rescue Teams have also been involved.
“We do not believe at this time any other vessels, kayaks or people were involved in this incident, other than those that had fallen from the speedboat.”
At a press conference, Nick’s brother Max praised his brother’s dedication to his family. He said, “Nick or Nico as he was known to us, was an extremely loving father and husband, son and brother. He doted on his family. As children and teenagers we spent many summers and new year’s eves at New Polzeath here in Cornwall and a few years ago he built his dream home above Daymer Bay. That he and my delightful niece died in their favourite place at the end of a gloriously sunny bank holiday weekend, provides us with a tiny glimmer of light.”
Meanwhile, a local man has been hailed a hero for bringing his vessel alongside the RIB to bring it under control. Charlie Toogood, of Camel Ski School, is said to have got a rope around the prop of the RIB to slow it down before jumping on board and bringing it to a halt.
The privately owned boat has been recovered and taken to police premises for examination and officers said the presence and state of a killcord would be the key focus of their investigations.
Photo: A police boat near the harbour at Padstow following the accident – Tim Ireland/PA Wire