Devon

Speedboat death: Victim Emily Gardner trapped by buoyancy aid

Emily Gardner Image copyright Emily Gardner
Image caption Emily Gardner's family described her as "our diamond, now shining bright in the sky"

A girl who died in a speedboat accident was trapped under the vessel after her buoyancy aid snagged on part of the boat, police have said.

Emily Gardner, 14, from the Gloucester area, was with two friends, both girls aged 15, and a 50-year-old man when the boat hit a wave and capsized off Brixham in Devon.

Police said the others on the boat and some jet skiers tried to free Emily.

A spokesman said the death was being treated as a "tragic accident".

Image caption Police divers recover the boat which overturned on Saturday morning

The 16ft (4.9m) speedboat overturned off Brixham on Saturday morning.

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

Devon and Cornwall Police said: "Inquiries are continuing into the cause of the incident. From the inquiries 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."

The 16ft speedboat overturned off Brixham on Saturday morning.

A family tribute to Emily said: "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."

The man and two girls, also from the Gloucester area, were taken to shore by two men on sea scooters before the lifeboat crew arrived.

They suffered minor injuries and have since been discharged from hospital.

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