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Tributes to Kevin Edmondson who died in powerboat accident

The heartbroken family of a powerboat pilot killed in a tragic accident have paid tribute to a "one in a million" dad and partner.

Kevin Edmondson, of Chartham Hatch, died on Sunday during an Offshore Circuit Racing Drivers Association (OCRDA) race.

The 53-year-old’s long-term partner Annika Hawthorne was co-piloting the vessel and was knocked unconscious during the horrifying accident.

Kevin was a keen angler
Kevin was a keen angler

There are three classes in powerboat racing to determine engine size and the duo were competing against a class two opponent.

Annika lost consciousness and was treated for concussion and shock, not knowing that Kevin had died.

She said: “I was in the hospital and it wasn’t until much later that I heard the news.

"It was a tragic accident and Kevin died doing what he loved.”

Kevin with Kadee (2756761)
Kevin with Kadee (2756761)

Kevin’s daughter Demi was three months into a year-long trip to New Zealand when she received the life shattering news.

In a moving statement, she described the tight bond they shared and the shock of hearing the news so far from home.

She said: “There’s just no words. He was loved by absolutely everyone.

"He wasn’t just my dad, he my best friend and I would have rather stayed in with him on a Friday night than go out with my mates.

The scene of the tragedy in Dorset
The scene of the tragedy in Dorset

“He encouraged us to do everything we wanted to do.

"When I travelled to New Zealand he would say he missed me but never asked me to come home as he wanted me to experience it - he wanted the best for everyone.

"There was no one who didn’t love him. He was one in a million.”

The 24-year-old, together with younger sister Kadee, say his competitive spirit and lust for life took them far and wide.

Kadee, 22, said: “We grew up going to show jumping competitions all over the world; he also loved hunting.

"We really keep thinking he is going to walk through the door again.”

Demi, Kevin and Annika (2756757)
Demi, Kevin and Annika (2756757)

Kevin was well-known and loved across the district after moving to the area from Romford in Essex, where he was an avid follower of West Ham United.

Family holidays to Seaview in Whitstable instilled a love of the water and he later joined the town’s angling club, winning competitions and a reputation for being a larger than life character over many years with his cheeky personality.

"He wasn't just my dad, he my best friend and I would have rather stayed in with him on a Friday night than go out with my mates" - Demi Edmondson

Kevin and Annika started powerboat racing around six years ago and won many competitions around the UK and Europe.

Kevin Edmondson and his partner Annika Hawthorne
Kevin Edmondson and his partner Annika Hawthorne

A popular member of Herne Bay Powerboat Club, his devastated friend of 30 years and fellow racer Brett Croxson says he will be sadly missed.

He said: “My family and I are in deep shock at the tragic loss of our good friend Kevin.

“Our weekends racing and socialising will never be the same as no one could fill the void he has left.

"Our sport and lives have lost a huge character we are heartbroken.”

Demi says her dad’s incredible zest for life meant he did not believe in bucket lists as he lived very day to the maximum.

“He did what he wanted to when he wanted to,” she added.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch is investigating the crash, which happened at West Bay, Dorset.

The two pilots in the other powerboat escaped injury.

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