Girl dies after motorboat accident at watersports club

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Media captionThe accident scene at the London watersports centre

An 11-year-old girl has died after being seriously injured at a watersports centre in west London.

The girl, named on the boat club's website as Mari-Simon Cronje, is thought to have been on an inflatable being towed when she was hurt.

Emergency services were called to the Princes Club, Bedfont, near Feltham, and she was airlifted to West Middlesex Hospital but died later on Saturday.

A man aged 22, thought to be the boat driver, was arrested and later bailed.

'Struck by boat'

The BBC has spoken to an eyewitness who believes there was no spotter on board the boat towing the inflatable.

The Metropolitan Police said officers were investigating the details surrounding the death.

It is believed the girl was one of a group of children being towed on an inflatable "banana boat" on one of the lakes at the site.

Image caption The girl is believed to have been on an inflatable being towed by a boat when she was hurt

She is understood to have fallen from the inflatable and was struck by the tow boat as it performed a sharp turn.

A post-mortem examination is expected to be carried out in the next few days.

In a statement, the club said: "Due to a tragic accident on [Saturday] the 11th September, the club will be closed while a thorough investigation is conducted.

"All activities during this time will be postponed and rescheduled or refunded."

A police spokesman said: "We were called to the Princes Club at 1700 yesterday.

'Fell into water'

"An 11-year-old-girl was found seriously injured. She was treated and taken to hospital where she died."

He added: "At this early stage, we believe the girl was on an inflatable banana boat which was being towed by a motorboat when she fell into the water.

"Inquiries continue to establish the full circumstances of the incident."

Officers from the Met's Specialist Crime Directorate and the Department of Transport's Maritime Accident Investigation Branch are investigating the incident.

Princes Club, on the outskirts of London, states on its website that it is the largest water-skiing and wakeboarding centre in Europe.

The centre, which claims to be the "oldest and most prestigious waterski club in the UK", has five boating lakes, squash courts and a gym.

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