Speedboat: Pair Died In 'Favourite Place'

Speedboat: Pair Died In 'Favourite Place'

The brother of a 51-year-old man who was killed along with his daughter in a speedboat accident near Padstow has paid tribute to him.

Nick Milligan and his daughter died after they and four other members of their family were thrown from their boat into the Camel Estuary.

Speaking at a news conference in Bodmin, Max Milligan said: "Nick, or Nico as he was known to us, was an extremely loving father and husband, son and brother who 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.

"I'd like to thank the Devon and Cornwall Police and all the staff at Derriford Hospital who have been incredible over the last few days."

Mr Milligan was a senior executive at BSkyB. He was managing director of Sky Media.

His 39-year-old wife and four-year-old son were airlifted to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth with "potentially life changing injuries". His two other daughters, aged 10 and 12, suffered minor injuries in the accident.

Video has emerged of the speedboat, which was a rigid inflatable owned by the family, circling out of control in the water.

Waterskiing instructor Charlie Toogood has been hailed a hero after he jumped on to the speedboat from another vessel to switch off the engine.

A second man, Will Jones, was also named as someone who came to their rescue.

Devon and Cornwall Police said the family, from London, was on holiday in Cornwall over the Bank Holiday weekend when the accident happened.

Detective Superintendent Jim Colwell said whether the kill cord on the boat operated correctly would form part of the investigation into the accident.

He said police had 25 staff working on the investigation and called for witnesses to come forward.

And he paid tribute to local people who went to the family's aid and holidaymakers who gave up their boats to help the rescue.

He said: "Without the brave and heroic efforts of local people and holidaymakers in the minutes immediately after this incident in assisting the family whilst they were in the water, if people hadn't come to their assistance in the manner they did I'm confident this incident would have been far worse in terms of the death toll."

Matt Pavitt, of the North Cornwall Coastguard, added: "Without the intervention of the one person who did manage to get on board the vessel, we could have been dealing with a far more serious situation."

A joint investigation has been launched by police and coastguard. Inquests will take place in due course.

South Western Ambulance Service earlier said it was thought the speedboat hit some kayakers near the popular holiday resort, however this was subsequently ruled out by the MCA.

Ambulance service spokesman John Oliver said the injured suffered leg injuries of various degrees of severity.

RNLI lifeboats from both Padstow and nearby Rock were launched as part of the rescue operation, and search and rescue helicopters from two naval bases were also ordered to attend the scene.

A BSkyB spokesperson said: "Everyone at Sky is deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic accident involving the Milligan family.

"Nick has been a great friend and colleague for many years and his loss will be felt across our company and the industry.

"Our very deepest sympathies are with his family at this time."