Woman and girl seriously hurt in Oulton Broad boating incident

The vessel damaged in Oulton Broad on Thursday evening. Picture: Mick Howes

The vessel damaged in Oulton Broad on Thursday evening. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Archant

A woman and young girl were seriously hurt in a late-night boating incident.

A general view of Oulton Dyke in Oulton Broad on Friday. Picture: Mick Howes

A general view of Oulton Dyke in Oulton Broad on Friday. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Archant

Investigations are continuing after four people were injured in a collision between a RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) and a broads cruiser on Oulton Broad, near Lowestoft, at about 11pm on Thursday night.

Witnesses described hearing a 'loud bang' after the speedboat was in collision with the stationary vessel at Oulton Dyke – not far from Waveney and Oulton Broad Yacht Club headquarters.

A man, woman and two children – believed to be a local family – were injured in the collision which happened near Boathouse Lane. All four were initially taken to the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston.

With the Broads Authority carrying out investigations into the incident, a spokesman said the woman and a girl – believed to be seven years old – remain in hospital, both in a serious but stable condition.

It is understood the woman suffered a fractured back and skull and that the girl has since been transferred to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital suffering head injuries.

Another girl, aged 10, and the man suffered minor injuries and are understood to have been released from hospital.

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A spokesman for the Broads Authority said: 'Broads Authority officers will be working with Suffolk Police, the Marine Accident Investigation Branch and the Marine and Coastguard Agency to investigate the collision. We wish a full recovery to those involved.'

With nine officers from the HM Lowestoft and Southwold Coastguard Rescue teams called to the scene, a spokesman said: 'We were called to Oulton Broad along with police, the East of England Ambulance Service and the Suffolk Fire Brigade. On arrival we found a family with severe injuries and we assisted the police and ambulance with first aid before they were conveyed to hospital. With the fire service, we conducted a search of the area and found the occupants of the broads cruiser were fine, although the vessel was damaged.'

Boathouse Lane was cordoned off by police yesterday as the boat was recovered and investigations continued.

A resident on nearby Borrow Road, Mary Hunt, said: 'It was at just after 11pm when my husband and I heard a loud bang but could not see anything from our home.

'The loud bang was not like an explosion but loud enough to hear through our walls. Thursday evenings tend to be busy on the Broads with the powerboats and the recent regatta but to have boats on the water at 11pm is a bit unusual.'

A police spokesman said: 'We were initially called at 11.02pm to reports that two boats had collided. The collision involved four people.'

A brigade spokesman said when they arrived at the scene at 11.15pm the four people were already ashore. It is unclear how they got out of the water.