Broads Authority offers sympathy to family of boat tragedy victim
PUBLISHED: 18:48 20 August 2020 | UPDATED: 10:23 21 August 2020
As people on the Norfok Broads come to terms with the death of a woman in her 30s a message of sympathy has been issued to her family .
Broads Authority, chief executive, John Packman, said: “Our deepest sympathies and condolences are with the woman’s family, who are being supported by specialist services.
“The incident is being investigated by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) and the police, who will release further details in due course.
“For now, we are focussing on supporting our staff, who were first on the scene, and who dealt with this emergency with calm professionalism, as well as reassuring and supporting those visitors on the River Bure, who witnessed the incident.
“We would like to thank the coastguard, emergency services and the local community (including boat yards, businesses and contractors) who all worked together to ensure other river users were safe and given clear instruction, whilst the situation was being managed.
“Fatalities on the Broads are a very rare occurrence and the authority, in partnership with the coastguard and local emergency services have robust safety systems in place.
“These measures ensure that many thousands of visitors have an enjoyable and safe experience in the Broads National Park.”
The statement came after a woman in her 30s and from London died on Wednesday (August 19) after falling from the back of a cruiser and getting stuck underneath.
An eye-witness said the boat was performing a manoeuvre when it struck the quay wall at North Quay in Great Yarmouth causing her to lose her footing.
Despite the efforts of the emergency services which responded in large numbers she was pronounced dead at the scene.
A spokesman for the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) said: “The incident was reported to MAIB and we are liaising closely with the police and conducting a preliminary assessment of the causes and circumstances of the fatal accident.
“Based on the initial information provided, MAIB has not launched an investigation.”
Meanwhile, Norfolk Police said it was preparing a file for the coroner.
A family from Mansfield moored at the yacht station on Thursday morning (August 20) said they had been stopped from entering the river the day before, during the operation, and had made their way to Reedham instead. There was no sign of the previous day’s frantic activity, carried out during a downpour, and the family were enjoying the early morning sunshine.
With six people on board, including four children aged six to 15, the holidaymaker said the tragedy was a reminder of how dangerous the Norfolk Broads could be.
She said: “Some people would think it was really safe but you have only got to use your head to know that it’s not.
“There is danger everywhere, even if you are the strongest swimmer.”
At the the height of the response some 20 vehicles from across the fire and ambulance services, coastguard, RNLI and specialist units rushed to the scene.
The air ambulance was also called, landing near to Asda.
North River Road, North Quay, and Lawn Avenue were closed for around four hours during the operation.
Three teams of divers arrived at the scene after ambulances and fire crews left and were seen setting up equipment.
The River Bure was also closed to boat traffic and the cordon was pushed back twice to stop people getting too close to the incident.
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