Businessman admits driving boat 'too quick' in crash which killed his friend

Will Worley
Osborne Bay, Isle of Wight

A businessman who was driving a boat which crashed and killed his friend of twenty years has admitted he was going "too quick".

Aaron Brown, 34, was in control of a rigid inflatable boat (rib), a small but powerful vessel, with Ryan McKinlay, 36, at the front.

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Brown denies manslaughter.

The pair were just "having fun" on the boat, Brown said, at Osborne Bay off the Isle of White in June 2015.

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But the rib hit a 62ft cruiser, True Blue, which friends and associates of the two men were partying on.

"At the time I didn't think it was too quick. Looking back it was too quick," Brown told Winchester Crown Court, according to the Times.

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He denied showing off to guests on True Blue and said he was "100 per cent confident" he could complete a manoeuvre on the rib and avoid hitting the cruiser.

"I was intending to turn away. I turned right and the boat didn't turn," Brown said.

The court heard he had drunk a bottle of lager and one and a half bottles of champagne over the course of the day.

Brown said the alcohol had "absolutely not" affected his judgement.

The court also heard how Brown had been convicted for driving a rib too fast on the River Hamble in 2012. He had driven the boat between 25 and 30 knots in a six knot zone.

In addition to the case against Brown, the skipper hired for the afternoon, Paul Carey, 52, also denies driving the rib too fast earlier on the same day, violating shipping regulations.

The case continues.

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