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Tributes Paid to Powerboat Driver After Weymouth Bay Crash

Mike Lovell

1:04pm 17th September 2012
(Updated 4:35pm 17th September 2012)

Tributes have been pouring in a powerboat driver who died following an accident in Weymouth Bay.

27 year old Mike Lovell sustained multiple injuries when his high speed boat flipped and crashed on the water.

He and his navigator Dan Whapples ,32, were thrown out of the boat and into the water infront of hundreds of people watching from the pier.

Emergency divers were in the water and providing medical treatment within 30 seconds of the accident.

Both were airlifted to hospital for emergency treatment.

A statment from P1 Superstock confirmed that Mr Lovell had died overnight. Mr Whapples remains in a serious but stable condition.

You've been getting in touch on our Facebook page, Jean Davenport comments "so sad, thoughts are with their famalies", Esther Snell says "such a tragedy" and Gillian Bowditch adds "so sad, but he died doing something he loved".


Both the Weymouth RNLI lifeboats were launched to provide assistance after a powerboat flipped over in Weymouth Bay during a racing event yesterday (Sunday 16 September). The charity’s crews were able to assist paramedics and provide a platform for one of the casualties to be airlifted to hospital.

The volunteer crew of the Weymouth RNLI inshore lifeboat were launched just after 2.30pm yesterday to reports of two people injured in the water. They found that the race safety team and paramedics had already recovered the people and taken them in to the shore at Weymouth Harbour, but they were still able to assist the medical team who were caring for them. 

The inshore lifeboat was then tasked to go out into the Bay and meet with the Portland Coastguard Rescue Helicopter who lowered down a winch man and stretcher to the lifeboat. The RNLI crew then transferred both to where the casualties were being treated.

The all-weather lifeboat was then also launched to provide a stable platform from which to airlift one of the injured people to the Coastguard helicopter and on to Southampton General Hospital.

The second casualty was transferred to hospital by the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.

The all-weather lifeboat team then returned to the upturned powerboat and used the salvage pump kept onboard the lifeboat to pump the vessel out. Meanwhile the volunteers on the inshore lifeboat continued to assist the race and medical teams on the shore where the two casualties had originally been taken. 

Andy Sargent, RNLI Coxswain at Weymouth, says he’s very proud of the way his team reacted:

‘This was a dreadful incident but the inshore lifeboat crew reacted in a very professional manner, assisting our colleagues from various other emergency services in every way they could.  The all-weather lifeboat crew also played their part, ensuring the airlift of one of the casualties happened quickly and smoothly. It shows just how important our multi-agency training is and I’m very proud of my team for what they did. Our thoughts are very much with all those affected by this terrible accident.’

Other agencies involved in the response to the accident included Portland Coastguard, Wyke Coastguard team, the South West Ambulance Paramedics, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and the Police.

Weymouth and Portland Maritime Volunteer Service were tasked with towing the stricken craft back to shore.


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