Businessman sobs in court describing Isle of Wight boat crash
17 March 2017
- From the section Hampshire & Isle of Wight
A businessman sobbed in court as he described the moment he crashed a jet-powered boat into his luxury cruiser, killing his friend of 20 years.
Ryan McKinlay, a father of one from Gosport, Hampshire, died following the crash off the Isle of Wight in 2015.
Aaron Brown, denies manslaughter by gross negligence.
He told his trial at Winchester Crown Court he was “intending to turn away” during the manoeuvre.
Giving evidence, Mr Brown admitted that, in hindsight, driving the Williams Turbojet 325 rigid inflatable boat (Rib) at up to 35mph was too fast for the manoeuvre he was carrying out, close to the 62ft Fairline Targa cabin cruiser named True Blue.
The 34-year-old chief operating officer of telecoms firm OneCom had to take breaks to recover himself as he sobbed while giving his account.
He told the jury he had been “having fun” in the boat, and had earlier been throwing up spray from the boat’s water jet on to the cruiser, which had on board a party of his friends, made up of businessmen and professional footballers.
Show-off claim ‘unfair’
“At the time I didn’t think it was too quick – looking back it was too quick,” he said.
“It happened so quickly.”
He said he had drunk a glass-and-a-half of champagne and a bottle of lager, but he said this had “absolutely not” affected his judgment.
Mr Brown, of Botley Road, Curdridge, also said it was “very unfair” to suggest he was showing off to his guests aboard the True Blue.
He added: “I was intending to turn away, to turn the boat right”, and added:
“I turned right and the boat didn’t turn.”
Hired skipper Paul Carey, 52, of Chatsworth Road, Southampton, is also on trial for a charge he denies of driving the boat earlier in the afternoon too fast in contravention of Merchant Shipping regulations.
The trial continues.