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Powerboat driver dies in crash

Driver Mike Lovell, from Southampton, and navigator Dan Whapples Photo: Idris Martin

One powerboat racer has died while another remains badly injured after their boat flipped over during a race in Weymouth Bay yesterday.

Powerboat P1 Management, race organisers, said: "Overnight Mike Lovell sadly succumbed to his injuries. Dan Whapples is in a serious but stable condition. A further statement will be issued when more details are available.

"Our thoughts are with the whole powerboat community and particularly with Mike and Dan's family and friends."

Driver Mike Lovell was from Southampton and his navigator Dan Whapples from Warsash. Both were taking part in a national powerboat racing championship.

These pictures show them in a previous race before they were thrown clear from their powerboat as it rolled over.

They were then recovered from the water before being flown to hospital.

Driver Mike Lovell, from Southampton, and navigator Dan Whapples Credit: Idris Martin

A spokesman for the Coastguard said: "The casualties were recovered from the water and to enable a quick transfer to hospital, the most severely injured casualty was taken aboard the Weymouth RNLI lifeboat and winched by the Portland Coastguard Rescue Helicopter to fly onwards to Southampton General Hospital.

"The second casualty was transferred to Southampton General Hospital by the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Helimed 10.

"Wyke Regis Coastguard Rescue Team was on scene at Weymouth and Southampton Coastguard Rescue Team was called out to secure the helicopter landing site."

The powerboat was competing in the area of Weymouth Town Beach and the harbour entrance when the incident happened.

A report has been made to the Marine Accident Investigation Branch.

Weymouth - the Olympic sailing venue - was hosting the first visit of the P1 SuperStock UK Championship to the Dorset coastal resort for the national powerboat series finale.

VIDEO: Andy Sergent of the RNLI describes the rescue operation.