Police have launched a manslaughter investigation into the death of a young woman who was thrown from a speedboat while on an online date.
Charlotte Brown, known as Charli, was pulled unconscious from the Thames, near Wandsworth Bridge in December 2015 and later died in hospital. The man survived.
At the time, police deemed the 24-year-old’s death non-suspicious, but the Crown Prosecution Service has since sent the file on Brown’s death back, suggesting a potential manslaughter offence should be investigated.
The business development consultant from Welling, south-east London and her date had been in contact for around a month, with Brown “excited” see him in person, according to her family.
But the after-dinner boat ride turned to tragedy when they were thrown into the water.
The Metropolitan Police’s Marine Support Unit, a helicopter and the coastguard were called after receiving reports of screams coming from the Thames near Wandsworth Bridge, south-west London, at around 11.45pm.
The pair were pulled from the water and rushed to hospital, but Brown later died. The man was discharged from hospital and assisted officers “as a significant witness”.
A Met Police spokesman said: “The police investigation into the death of Charlotte Brown remains ongoing and the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) continue to liaise with Charlotte’s family as to developments.
“Following the submission of a file to the Crown Prosecution Service advice was provided to the MPS and detectives are now investigating offences including manslaughter.
“Due to the nature of the offences being looked at Detectives from the Homicide and Major Crime Command are now investigating. They continue to liaise with colleagues from the Port of London Authority and the Marine Accident Investigation Branch.
“An inquest was due to commence on 5 October 2016 at Westminster Coroner’s Court but this has been rescheduled on a date yet to be confirmed.”
Brown, a English literature graduate, who loved flying and enjoyed success in the air cadets as a solo glider pilot, was a “confident swimmer”, her family said.
However it is feared she was not wearing a life jacket when she fell overboard.
Her sister Katie said: “Even the best swimmer in the Thames at his time of year, with the current conditions and the cold, I don’t see many people standing a chance without a life jacket.
“We don’t know exactly what happened. If she was wearing a life jacket there is a chance she could still be here today.”