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Tributes to teenager killed in Devon speedboat tragedy

Flowers have been left for Emily Gardner. Credit: ITV News West Country

Dozens of tributes to a teenager who died in a speedboat accident have been left at the scene in Devon where she lost her life.

14-year-old Emily Gardner was killed when the boat she was in capsized in Brixham harbour on Saturday.

Police say her life jacket became caught when the boat overturned. Two 15-year-old girls and a 50-year-old man were treated for injuries.

Emily Gardner was 14 years old. Credit: ITV News West Country
Two 15-year-olds and a middle-aged man were injured in the accident. Credit: ITV News West Country

Speedboat death caused by life jacket

14 year old Emily Gardner died in a speedboat accident on Saturday

Police investigating the death of a 14 year old girl from Gloucester in a speedboat accident say the boat was overturned by a wave.

Devon and Cornwall Police say that Emily Gardner's life jacket became caught when she was thrown overboard in Brixham harbour. Enquiries into Emily's death are ongoing.

Enquiries are continuing into the cause of the incident. From the enquiries conducted so far, reports suggest that the boat hit a wave before overturning.

The four people on the boat were then thrown overboard as a result. It appears that Emily became trapped due to her buoyancy aid getting caught on part of the boat.

The other people on the boat and the jet ski riders tried to help Emily but could not free her. The RNLI crew freed her from the boat and took her to the shore.

At this stage in the investigation we are satisfied that there are no suspicious circumstances and we believe that this was nothing more than a tragic accident.

– Devon and Cornwall Police

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  1. West Country (E)

Family tribute to teenager who died in Devon

Emily Gardner died in a fatal speedboat incident in Devon Credit: Family photo

Emily Gardner's family have paid this tribute to her:

“Our beautiful Emily was a caring loving, gentle daughter and sister. She was full of life and had the world ahead of her. She was our diamond, now shining bright in the sky.

"She will be missed and forever in our hearts."

  1. West Country (E)

Police officially name Gloucester speedboat victim

Brixham Harbour where the tragedy happened Credit: Google Street View

Police have named the teenage girl who died following a fatal speedboat incident in Brixham, Devon, on Saturday as 14 year old Emily Gardner from Gloucester.

Devon and Cornwall Police say Emily was trapped underneath a small speedboat, after it overturned, with three other people on board, just outside Brixham Harbour.

In a statement police say: "Officers were alerted about the incident by the Coastguard at 12.11pm. Lifeboat crews from Brixham attended and released Emily before taking her to shore.

Emily was taken to Torbay Hospital by ambulance in a critical condition but was pronounced dead a short time later. Her family have been informed and formal ID has taken place.

A 50-year-old man and two 15-year-old girls, also from the Gloucester area, who were on board the boat before it capsized, were taken to shore by jet skis before lifeboat crews arrived. They were taken to hospital by ambulance with minor injuries and have since been discharged.

Two men, aged 18 and 50, from the Worcester area, who were travelling on the jet skis and assisted with the rescue before emergency services arrived, were also taken to hospital for checks but were later discharged.

The group were on holiday in Devon at the time of the incident, and Emily was with a friend’s family.

The 16ft speedboat, which was believed to be privately owned, has been recovered and taken to police premises for examination. The jet skis have also been taken away for examination.

Police and the Marine Accident Investigation Branch are investigating the cause of incident."

Our thoughts are with the family and friends who are affected by this tragic incident.

I would like to thank the public and the emergency services for their assistance in getting the casualties to hospital swiftly.

Enquiries are ongoing and we are keen to speak to any witnesses who have not already come forward.

– Detective Sergeant Andy Turner, deputy Senior Investigating Officer

Teenager named locally as Emily Gardner

Brixham Harbour where the tragedy happened Credit: Google Street View

The teenage girl who died after becoming trapped when a speedboat overturned in Brixham has been named locally as Emily Gardner.

Friends and family members are using social media sites to pay tribute to the "beautiful" 14-year-old who is thought to have died while on holiday in the seaside town.

Emily is said to have been with her pals, also named locally, as Holly Pritchard and Gemma Gadsden, who were hospitalised following the accident.

The trio were also with one of their father's, not thought to be related to Emily.

Sharon Ashley took to Facebook to write: "My beautiful beautiful niece love you so much sleep tight xxxxx."

Her uncle, Nick Taylor, added: "Good night my amazing beautiful niece x shine bright like a diamond x."

It is thought Emily lived in Gloucester with her family and attended Chosen Hill School, in Churchdown, Gloucester.

Lynzi Ashley wrote: "Love you Emily Gardner gonna miss you soo much. Get well soon Gemma and Holly Pritchard xx."

Shannon Jade said: "RIP Emily. I hope Gemma Gadsden and Holly Pritchard are feeling better soon thoughts go to you and her family."

Bryony Elizabeth-Gorgina Fenemore posted: "RIP Emily, such a beautiful girl taken from us thoughts go out to all friends and family."

Rita Petita added: "Emily can't believe we've all lost you xxxxxxxxxxxx".

Investigations continue in Brixham

Brixham Harbour where the tragedy happened Credit: Google Street View

A teenage girl has died after becoming trapped when a speedboat overturned at a popular holiday spot. It is thought the youngster was on a Bank Holiday trip with a father and two school friends when the tragedy struck.

All four passengers on the boat, which overturned in Brixham Harbour, in Torbay received medical treatment and were taken to hospital.

Tragically, one of the female teenagers, whose identity is not yet known, died shortly after arriving at Torbay Hospital in a critical condition.

South Western Ambulance Service (SWAST) confirmed that one of the other passengers was in a serious condition and two others were not thought to have serious injuries.

We were called by the coastguard at 12.01 on Saturday afternoon. It was reported that a boat had overturned.

We sent four ambulances to the scene and an officer, who was able to liaise with the other services involved.

We also sent out Hazardous Ambulance Response Team (HART) who are trained to deal with difficult situations, so they attended as the water was involved.

A paramedic also attended in a fast car.

In total there were four patients. Two were in a serious condition, one of which critical, when we arrived.

Two others were not thought to be in a serious condition at the time. The person in a critical condition was a young girl.

We know it was a young female, but we don't know her age. We are assuming that it was this patient who sadly later died."

– Spokesperson, South Western Ambulance Service

Emergency services were called at 11.44am on Saturday (2/5) morning after reports a boat had capsized.

Lifeboat crews attended Brixham Harbour, in Torbay, Devon along with two coastguard search and rescue teams and the coastguard helicopter.

Specialist divers worked into the evening to remove the capsized boat, which was near the entrance to the harbour.

It is thought that the group were not local and had been visiting the area for a break over the Bank Holiday weekend.

The cafe is right by the harbour. What has happened is absolutely tragic.

We were all really upset by what happened yesterday. We don't really know much about it - we just saw all the emergency vehicles arrive.

We don't think the people involved were local. A lot of people have been talking and it sounds like they were just on holiday here.

I don't know any more than that really - it's all very sad.

– Anonymous, local cafe worker

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Investigation into Brixham speedboat tragedy

A teenage girl has died and three others hospitalised after a speedboat they were travelling in overturned.

Emergency services were called at 11.44am on Saturday morning after reports a boat had capsized.

Lifeboat crews attended Brixham Harbour, in Torbay, Devon and a father, his teenage daughter and her two friends were taken to hospital.

However one of the girls tragically passed away later yesterday afternoon.

Two coastguard search and rescue teams attended as well as the coastguard helicopter.

Specialist divers were on the scene last night and were expected to remove the capsized boat from near the entrance to the harbour.

Mark Criddle, coxswain of Torbay's RNLI lifeboat, said the vessel was launched at 11:51 BST to reports of an overturned boat just outside Brixham harbour with four people in the water.

He said the three other people who had been on the speedboat had been rescued by other crafts in the area, including two jet skiers and a yacht.

We arrived on scene to find a 16ft speedboat upside down with a girl trapped in it.

We located the girl and brought her onboard the lifeboat where she was immediately given first aid by a doctor and paramedic who were members of the lifeboat crew.

We took the girl back to shore where she was handed into the care of paramedics who took her to hospital.The three other people who had been aboard the overturned speedboat were also taken to hospital after being treated at the lifeboat station.

– Mark Criddle, Torbay's RNLI lifeboat

A small speedboat containing four persons overturned.

All persons were rescued from the water and received medical treatment; sadly though, one person has died.

Her family have been informed.

– Devon and Cornwall Police

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