Windermere boat deaths: could faulty generator be to blame?

Speculation is rife as to what caused the Windermere boat deaths of a 10-year-old girl and a 36-year-old woman yesterday afternoon

A mother and her daughter died yesterday after police were called to an incident in which three people were said to be suffering from severe breathing difficulties on a boat on Lake Windermere.

The incident occurred on a private Bayliner 285 at around 4pm yesterday, and despite Kelly Webster, 36, and her daughter Laura Thornton, 10, being airlifted to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, they have both since died. A 39-year-old man, who was also on the boat, is still receiving treatment.

The incident happened on a busy bank holiday Monday and many people witnessed the events unfold on the jetty, with widespead speculation that the deaths were caused by carbon monoxide poisoning.

The Daily Telegraph quotes Tony Rothwell, who runs Bowness Bay Marina, as saying that he’d been told by wardens that the tragedy was due to a faulty generator. He said, “It was an amateur job, the boat had been fitted with a generator and the exhaust has leaked. It had been a very cold day and the fan heater was connected to the generator. It is a terrible tragedy.”

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However, police say that the cause of the Windermere boat deaths will not be established until the coroner’s report is complete.

A statement from Cumbria Police said, “Police are currently investigating the circumstances of this tragic incident and trying to establish the full facts about what has happened.”

Photo: The tragedy occurred on a boat similar to the one photographed.

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