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Girl ‘went blue as everything collapsed inside her’ during deadly speedboat ride

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A mum has recalled the horrifying moment her daughter "turned blue" before the 15-year-old died during a speedboat ride.

Emily Lewis, 15, suffered fatal injuries when the inflatable boat crashed into a 4.5m high buoy near Southampton.

During a trial at Winchester Crown Court her mum Nikki Lewis said the boat's skipper did “nothing to help” despite their "screams".

Nikki and partner Simon booked the boat ride with Seadogz through Groupon as a surprise for Emily and her sister Amy on August 22, 2020, at around 10.10am.

A number of other passengers were also left badly injured.

Boat driver Michael Lawrence, 55, has been charged with manslaughter by gross negligence by failing to maintain a proper lookout or proceed at a safe speed.

Michael Howley, 52, the owner of Seadogz, has been accused of not operating the boat safely.

They are both standing trial.

In a statement read to Winchester Crown Court, Nikki said: “When we got going I was scared. I held on to Emily. I was struggling to hold myself up. I thought I was going to fall out so I held on to Emily’s hoop.

“I thought he was going too fast in comparison to the one we went on before. I didn’t feel safe in the bucket seat.

“The girls had an amazing time; I was scared.”

Describing the crash’s aftermath, she said: “The next thing I know is Amy screaming. I shot forward at an angle. I was between the seats, my arm broken.

“I was so winded and shocked. I was slumped and stuck, numbed and in so much pain.

“I looked for Emily. She was on the floor next to me. ‘OMG, she is blue’. Amy was screaming, ‘Help my sister. Help my sister’.”

Nikki alleged Lawrence did not help any of the passengers despite the passengers screaming at him.

When they reached the hospital, Nikki said a nurse told her Emily was “very poorly”.

She said: “We all went to see Emily. They were all so amazing. They tried so hard but she lost so much oxygen. Her brain was starved of oxygen. I had to go out. I could not cope.”

Because Emily had “unsurvivable injuries” the family decided to turn her life support off, the court was told.

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Sister Amy Lewis, who was 18 at the time, said in a statement she was “angry” at Lawrence because he was stepping over people and not helping passengers.

She added: “There wasn’t any urgency to help anyone.

“I was so scared but I wanted to see her. Mum and I were put in wheelchairs and taken to the room where Emily was.

"I think because everything was collapsing inside her. She closed her eyes.

“I said goodbye to her. I gave her a kiss and I decided I couldn’t be in the room any so I walked out and Mum and Dad remained.”

Lawrence, of Blackfield, New Forest, and Howley, of Hordle, New Forest, deny the charges.

The trial continues.

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