Hampshire & Isle of Wight

'Show-off' businessman caused Isle of Wight boat crash death

Ryan McKinlay Image copyright Hampshire Constabulary
Image caption Ryan McKinlay was a passenger on the RIB when it collided with a luxury cruiser

A businessman caused the death of his friend by "showing off" while driving a high-powered boat and crashing into his luxury cruiser, a court has heard.

Ryan McKinlay died following the crash off the Isle of Wight on 19 June 2015.

Aaron Brown, chief operating officer of telecoms firm OneCom, is charged with manslaughter by gross negligence, which he denies.

The prosecution said it happened on a day out with two professional footballers including Lee Bradbury.

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Media captionVideo footage shown to the jury during the trial shows the RIB boat being skippered by Paul Carey

Mr Brown's hired skipper, Paul Carey, 52, of Chatsworth Road, Southampton, denies a charge of driving too fast in contravention of merchant shipping regulations.

Nick Tucker, prosecuting, said Mr Brown, 34, had taken a group of friends for a day out on his 62ft-long (19m) cabin cruiser, named True Blue, from Swanwick in Hampshire, to Osborne Bay off the Isle of Wight.

These included former footballer and current Havant and Waterlooville manager Lee Bradbury and Havant defender Lee Molyneaux.

'Swerved violently'

Mr Brown and Mr Carey then took turns to take the cruiser's rigid inflatable boat (RIB) out for "thrill-seeking" joyrides, Winchester Crown Court heard.

The jury was shown footage of Mr Brown driving the RIB, with 36-year-old Mr McKinlay, from Gosport, onboard at speed towards the cruiser and colliding into its rear swimming platform.

"Mr McKinlay, sitting at the front, had no chance," Mr Tucker said, adding: "The swimming platform hit him in the chest at full force and threw him into the water."

Mr Brown was "catapulted into the air" but escaped with minor injuries, he added.

The RIB "swerved violently" moments before the crash which could have been caused by waves or by Mr Brown reversing the boat's water-jet thrust to act as an emergency brake, Mr Tucker said.

However, the RIB, which had been travelling at about 30mph (48km/h), skidded and collided with the 38-tonne cruiser at 90 degrees, the court heard.

Mr Tucker said Mr Brown ignored his training and put Mr Brown's life at risk by sailing too close to another vessel, adding: "He ignored that advice to show off."

The trial continues.