Essex speedboat crash inquest: Death 'accidental'

The Stone Watersports club Image copyright Google
Image caption Paul Hodgkin was a member of the Stone Watersports Club in St Lawrence, on the northern shore or the Dengie Peninsula

A "much-loved family man" died in a "tragic" speedboat accident while watching his grandson water-ski, an inquest heard.

Paul Hodgkin, 57, was on his vessel with members of his family on the Essex coast when it collided with another boat on 3 August.

His son-in-law dived into the water to carry out CPR, but Mr Hodgkin was declared dead at the scene.

Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray concluded it was a "tragic accident".

Mr Hodgkin, of Southminster, was at the wheel of the speedboat when it hit a moored vessel in the River Blackwater estuary.

He was a member of The Stone Watersports Club in St Lawrence, on the southern shore of the estuary.

PC Dawn Wood told the coroner's court in Chelmsford: "Everyone was looking back towards the young boy who was water skiing [at the time of the accident]."

Mrs Beasley-Murray said: "What a tragic accident at the end of what sounds like a delightful day out on the boat.

"I would again like to express my sympathy to his family.

"He was a very sociable person with many friends and was a much-loved family man."

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