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Birchington: Speedboat crashed into sea wall at Minnis Bay

By Katie Davis

Tragedy was narrowly averted as a speedboat crashed into a sea wall after its two occupants were thrown overboard.

The two men were checking the boat's engine when then plunged into the water in Minnis Bay at about 2.30pm on Thursday.

But neither was wearing a kill cord to cut the engine off, so the speedboat continued unmanned, smashing into the sea wall.

Minnis Bay
Minnis Bay

Fortunately, no one was injured and the two men were found wading, unhurt, by rescue crews.

Ian Lowe, deputy launching authority at Margate lifeboat, said: "They did the right thing by wearing lifejackets but should have had their engine kill cord connected as well.

"An out-of-control unoccupied speedboat could cause havoc for swimmers and kayakers."

Tony Evans, HM Coastguard Maritime operations specialist, added: "These two men have had a very lucky escape.

"Although they were wearing lifejackets, it would appear that they had a kill cord on the engine but neither of them were wearing it.

"With a busy beach nearby, the circumstances could have been very different, or indeed tragic, if the vessel had not crashed into the wall.

"All owners and drivers of open powerboats, personal watercraft and RIBs should ensure that if their boat is fitted with a kill switch and kill cord, it is correctly used."

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