Teen drowned when lifejacket trapped her inside cabin of capsized boat in Cornwall

Gillian Davey was 17 years old when she died in the tragic incident on 25 May last year.

A teenager drowned when her lifejacket prevented her from swimming down and out of a submerged cabin door, a report has found.

Gillian Davey was with her family on their motor cruiser in the Camel Estuary near Padstow in May last year when the boat was capsized by a large wave close to the Doom Bar.

The 17-year-old became trapped in the cabin when the boat capsized. She was unable to escape before the cabin filled with water and drowned.

The Marine and Rail Accident Investigation Branches carried out an independent investigation into the incident and has today (Thursday 14 October) released its report.

The investigation found the teenager's inflated lifejacket prevented her from swimming down and out to safety.

The report also says the boat owner's "limited boating experience" meant he did not "fully appreciate the dangers of being so close to the Doom Bar around low water."



Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents Andrew Moll said: “This sad accident highlights the need for leisure boat users to get properly trained and equip themselves with the necessary navigational tools to stay safe.

"Conditions at sea can change rapidly, boat owners should check the weather forecast  before setting out and know the limitations of their boat.

"There are many reasons to operate an older craft, but it must be appreciated that some were built to lower safety standards than modern craft and may not be suitable for use at sea.

"Owners of craft not marked with a CE plate are urged to seek advice from a qualified marine surveyor on the suitability of their craft for its intended use."