Home U.K Norfolk horror: Mother-of-3 killed by boat’s propeller in front of family while...

Norfolk horror: Mother-of-3 killed by boat’s propeller in front of family while on holiday

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Laura Perry, 38, was on a hire boat in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, enjoying a holiday with her family. The mother-of-three was standing on the rear deck of the 42ft-long boat when it hit a wall, knocking her overboard.

Ms Perry’s death took place on August 19, 2020, with eight other family members.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) said the tragedy took place while the family were trying to moor the hire boat from the company Ferry Marina.

The boat’s stern “made hard contact with the embankment wall” opposite the yacht station, according to the investigative branch of the Department for Transport.

The MAIB said Ms Perry fell into the River Bure after being knocked overboard, and died of multiple injuries and drowning.

The MAIB’s report held she became “caught” in the propeller under the cruiser after falling into the river.

It added: “She was caught in the propeller and fatally injured.

“At the time of the accident, the motor cruiser was being manoeuvred to stop and turn in the river.”

Pathologist Dr Ray Lonsdale also told Norfolk Coroner’s Court, Norwich, Ms Perry’s cause of death was “multiple injuries and drowning due to or a consequence of entrapment beneath a boat following a fall into the water.”

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In an online tribute to the mother-of-three, Ms Perry’s family said she “treasured” her children.

The tribute reads: “She treasured her boys and embraced every minute spent with them on a multitude of trips, adventures, holidays and ‘memory-making’.

“She loved them and, their father, James Allen, very deeply.”

Norfolk Coroner’s Court also heard in January how her family had given her occupation as “full-time mother”.

A full inquest is to be held at a later date.

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As a result of the incident, the MAIB has issued calls for improvements in the hire boat industry.

In their report into Ms Perry’s death, they said the department had considered boat construction standards for the prevention of persons falling overboard, the handling of large dual control cruisers by hirers and the hire boat induction and handover process.

It urgently recommended last October the Association of Inland Navigation Authorities strengthen its Hire Code to help prevent people from falling overboard, as well as to improve boat handover procedures and engine control system design.

The MAIB’s final report into the incident will be published after consultation.

It comes after a separate inquest from Norfolk Coroner’s Court in December 2020, which heard how Simon Houlder, 29, died after being slashed by the propeller of his Norfolk Broads cruiser.

Mr Houlder was pushed into the water near Great Yarmouth by his friends as a prank on September 15, 2020.

He was fatally injured in the River Bure after becoming “trapped in the propeller while trying to get back on board”.



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