Padstow Speedboat Accident: Tributes To Dead Nick Milligan And Injured Family

Tributes For Father And Daughter Killed In Speedboat Tragedy

A father of four who was killed in a speedboat accident which also left his eight-year-old daughter dead was described as a "great friend and colleague" today.

Nick Milligan, 51, the managing director of Sky's advertising sales division, Sky Media, was declared dead at the scene in Padstow, Cornwall, yesterday afternoon.

His 39-year-old wife Victoria, their four-year-old son Kit and two daughters Amber, 12, and Olivia, 10, were airlifted to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth with a range of injuries, described by police as "life threatening" and "life changing".

Charlie Toogood, right, is credited with jumping aboard and stopping the boat that killed Nick Milligan, right

Sky said in a statement: "Everyone at Sky is deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic accident involving the Milligan family.

"Nick has been a great friend and colleague for many years and his loss will be felt across our company and the industry.

Our very deepest sympathies are with his family at this time."

Mr Milligan had been managing director since 2004 and was previously a founding director at Channel 5.

Police have not named the daughter who died, but she is believed to be called Emily.

The family, from Wandsworth, south west London, were on holiday in the coastal town when they were thrown from the boat which went "out of control" and struck them.

Waterskiing instructor Charlie Toogood has been hailed a hero after he reportedly leapt into the speedboat to turn off its engine and stop it from causing further harm,

A second man, Will Jones, was also named as someone who came to their rescue.

Writing on Facebook, Harry Onslow said: "Thoughts are with those involved. horrible. well done Will Jones and Charlie Toogood. heroes.

Maria Chase also wrote on the website: "We were down in Padstow today and saw the tragedy and saw a hero who saved more lives by jumping on to an out-of-control speedboat from another boat."

In footage recorded by a witness and shown on the BBC, the speedboat is seen going around in circles before someone intervenes.

A joint investigation is being carried out into the tragedy by police and the coastguard.

The family were in Cornwall for the Bank Holiday weekend when the accident happened in the Camel Estuary near Padstow shortly before 4pm.

The popular harbour area was bristling with people enjoying the sunshine who watched the accident unfold just half a mile offshore.

Charlotte Jacobs took to Twitter to write to the RNLI, saying: "We witnessed incredible bravery in Padstow today during the tragic accident that unfolded. The men involved deserve medals."

999 operators received their first call from a mobile phone at 3.48pm and were inundated with more calls seconds later.

A major search and rescue operation was launched involving RNLI lifeboats from Rock and Padstow, helicopters from RNAS Culdrose and RNB Chivenor and coastguard rescue teams from Newquay, St Merryn and Polzeath.

The boat, which was owned by the family, has been taken away for examination.

Matt Pavitt, of the North Cornwall Coastguard, told BBC Breakfast: "Thanks to some incredible seamanship and bravery from some locals, they managed to get the boat under control and stop it from causing any further damage or harm.

"From there we were able to locate, recover the various people with injuries working with our colleagues from the ambulance service, Navy and RAF helicopters, two lifeboats and three coastguard teams.

"In a major joint operation, four of those people were flown to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth with significant injuries.

"It is, as you can imagine, a very large boat. This boat is 8m-long with a very, very powerful engine on the back. It is going round and round in circles and one of the local boatmen, we understand, was able to get alongside it and somebody actually jumped from one boat to the other to bring the boat under control. So, incredible bravery which undoubtedly saved lives."

The cause of the accident is not known yet, Mr Pavitt said.

"Reports are that the boat was seen to veer over to one side, causing all six people to end up in the water and then the boat is known to have circled a number of times hitting some of the people in the water. That is as much as we know at the moment."

He appealed for anyone with photographs or video clips of the accident who has not already come forward to contact police to help build a picture of what happened.

Mr Milligan owned a beach house in Trebetherick, across the estuary from Padstow, according to an interview he did with advertising magazine Campaign in 2011.

The article said his interests included "anything outdoors".

He and his wife had been married since October 23, 1999, according to his Facebook page, and they had both studied at the University of Reading.


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